The almshouses contained several rooms intended as accommodation for six poor aged widowers, widows or other single persons aged of 21 or over, of Thornbury and not having any child or children or other charge living with them. We think each unit comprised one room downstairs and one room upstairs. Over the years there were numerous occupants and we have only been able to list a few whose names we have taken from the rate books and census records. We are listing these people in alphabetical order with brief details:
Ann Adams – the 1890 rate book shows Ann was living in one of the almshouses. In the 1891 census Ann was described as a widow aged 67 from Thornbury. She was listed as still living there in the 1894 rate book.
Ann English born about 1823. In 1859 she married Thomas Adams who was an agricultural labourer born in Olveston about 1833. In 1861 Thomas and Ann were living in Alveston Down with their niece, Minnie English aged 5. By 1871 Thomas and Ann had moved to Church Hill, Olveston where Ann was described as a needle woman. In 1881 census they were living at Waterloo Cottage on Thornbury Hill. Ann was now a dressmaker and she had an assistant, Amelia Llewellin living with them. In the 1887 rate book they are shown as living in 6 Bath Road. Thomas died aged 55 and was buried on 3rd September 1888 and Ann moved to the almshouses. She died there aged 77 and was buried on 9th March 1898. in 1898.
Hannah Allen – the 1851 census shows Hannah was an almswoman aged 74 from Ham living with her son, William, an unmarried agricultural labourer aged 33 from Oldbury. It seems likely that Hannah was the wife of George Allen. They had at least two children: George baptised at Oldbury on 2nd February 1814 and William also baptised there on 5th July 1817. There are several possible deaths for Hannah’s husband, George. She died aged 81 and was buried on 11th January 1860.
Ellen Baker – the 1899 rate book shows Ellen was living in one of the almshouses. The 1901 census describes Ellen as a widowed washerwoman aged 52 from Cromhall. She was still listed there in the 1905 rate book and she died in on 31st March 1909 aged 61. Ellen Holder was born in Cromhall about 1848. She had one son, Charles, born in 1868. In 1877 she married Enoch Baker, an agricultural labourer from Olveston. In 1881 they were living at Old Down with two children: William aged 3 and John aged 1. Enoch died in 1887 aged 44. The 1891 census shows Ellen as a charwoman boarding with Harriett Smith in Silver Street.
Jane Banks – the 1841 census shows Jane Banks an almswoman aged 73, living with Benjamin Nelmes aged 10. Jane died in the Poor House and was buried on 8th October 1846. The Scribes Alcove website shows her age as being 70 which conflicts with the age which appears in the 1841 census. Note – it seems likely that Jane might be the Jane Nelmes listed in the 1840 Tithe Survey as living in the almshouses, but we can find no marriage record and anything else which might confirm this.
Mary Bendall – the 1901 census shows Mary was living in one of the almshouses. It described her as a widow aged 76 from Alveston. Mary Cornock was born in Alveston about 1828, the daughter of James Cornock. On 18th March 1850, Mary married John Bendall, a labourer born in Cam, but now living at Kingswood Hill. John was the son of Meshach Bendall, a labourer and his wife, Elizabeth. Click here to read more about John and Mary. By 1901 Mary had moved to the almhouses. We are not sure when Mary died, but she is not listed as living at the almshouses in 1905.
Ann Bennett – the 1894 rate book shows that Ann is occupying one of the almshouses. We are not entirely sure who Ann was. There is a record of an Ann Bennett dying aged 77 and being buried in Thornbury on 12th July 1894. This Ann had been living in Alveston and she seemed to be the wife of William C Bennett, a farmer. However William was still living at the time of the 1901 census, so it seems unlikely that his wife would have been in the almshouses on her own.
Mary Brooks – the 1887 and 1890 rate books show that ‘Eliza’ Brooks was living in one of the almshouses. We think this could be the Mary Brooks who is shown living here in the 1891 census. Interestingly the 1894 rate book also shows her name as ‘Eliza’. Mary Pim was born in Stogursey in Somerset about 1809. In 1838 she married John Brooks who was a gardener also from Stogursey. Their first child, Thomas, was born in Stogursey about 1839, the other children were born after their move to Thornbury: Mary Ann baptised on 12th March 1843, Blanch born about 1847 but baptised on 28th October 1849 at the same time as another son, John, and a daughter, Elizabeth born about 1855. The family had moved to Thornbury so that John could work as a gardener on the Marlwood Estate and they lived at the Upper Marlwood Lodge on Thornbury Hill. By 1871 John had died but Mary was allowed to continueliving at the Upper Lodge. Her son, John, had become a coachman, presumably for the Marlwood Estate. The 1881 census shows Mary as lodge keeper at Upper Marlwood Lodge and her son, John, was a carpenter aged 30. By 1890 Mary had moved to the almshouses where she died aged 88 and was buried on 25th June 1896. Her son, John Brooks, lived in Castle Street in Thornbury in a house later called Threeways.
Eliza Cornock – the 1876 rate book shows that Eliza was living in one of the almshouses. Eliza was born in Alveston about 1833. She had a daughter, Mary Ann, who was baptised at Thornbury on 13th October 1852. In 1871 she and Mary Ann were living in one of the three houses in St Mary Street which were situated at the Back of the Exchange pub. Eliza was working as a washerwoman and Mary Ann was a general domestic servant. The 1881 and 1891 census records and the rate books up to 1894 show Eliza continued living at the almshouses. She died aged 67 and was buried on 9th December 1897.
Martha Cornock – the 1887 and 1890 rate books show that Martha was living in one of the almshouses. The 1891 census describes Martha as an unmarried lady aged 75 from Thornbury. Mysteriously we have been unable to find out any more information about Martha.
Hannah Duncombe – the 1887 and 1890 rate books show that Hannah was living in one of the almshouses. The 1891 census shows she was a widow aged 66 from Newton. She carried on living here until she died aged 82 in 1907. Click here to read more about Hannah
Mary Facey – the 1861 census shows that Mary was occupying one of the almshouses. She was an ‘almswoman’, a widow aged 69 from Thornbury. Mary died aged 82 and was buried on 9th May 1869. We are fairly sure that Mary was the Mary Elliott who married Benjamin Facey in Thornbury on 2nd February 1824. They had several children including Mary Ann baptised on 16th October 1824, Benjamin baptised 4th July 1827 and Mathew born in 1832 but who died 3rd December 1833. Mary’s husband, Benjamin, died aged 50 and was buried on 12th March 1832. All the children were born in the Poor House.
The 1841 census shows Mary was a charwoman aged 54 living in St John Street with her son, Benjamin, aged 12. The 1851 census shows her as a widowed charwoman aged 63 living in Crossways Lane with her son, Benjamin, an agricultural labourer aged 22.
Ann Gale – the 1871 census shows Ann Gale was occupying one of the almshouses. She was described as a widowed pauper aged 74 from Frampton Cotterell living with her granddaughter Sarah Ann Screen aged 11 from Thornbury. The 1880, 1885 and 1887 rate books show she continued living there. In the 1881 census Ann was shown as being aged 84 and she was living with another grand-daughter, Eliza Screen aged 8. Click here to read more
Frances Gayner – the transcription we have of the 1840 Tithe Survey shows the name of Frances Gayner as occupying one of the almshouses. We are confused by this as the only Frances Gayner we can identify was a property owner in Thornbury and probably too young to be in an almshouse.
Catherine Gibbs – the 1861 census shows Catherine was living in one of the almshouses. She was described as a widow aged 72 from Bedminster. Catherine was living at the Old Rectory (now known as Glebe Cottage) in 1840. Click here to read more
Hester Harris – the 1911 census shows that Hester Harris, a widow aged 72 was living here. Click here to read more
Hannah Howard – the 1871 census shows that Hannah Howard was living in the Almshouses. She was described as a widow aged 77 from Thornbury. She continued living here until her death in 1879. Click here to read more
Edna Howell – the 1840 Tithe Map shows that Edna was living in one of the almshouses. The 1841 census shows that Edna was an almswoman aged 55. We think Edna was a single woman born on 2nd February 1787, the daughter of John and Sarah Howell. She died aged 61 and was buried on 27th June 1847.
Martha Hawley – in the 1851 census Martha was an almswoman aged 78 from Thornbury. We don’t know anything about Martha.
Annie Hurn – the 1910 rate book shows Annie was occupying one of the almshouses. We know that Annie died in 1916 aged 76. This makes us think that she was the Annie born in County Cork in Ireland who married James Hurn at some time before 1861. In 1861 Annie was living with her husband’s parents, Giles and Ann Hurn in Oldbury, although James was away from home at the time of the census. The 1871 census shows James and Annie living in Oldbury Naite where James was a labourer. They had two children, James aged 7 born in Grovesend and Alberta aged 4 born in Oldbury. The 1881 census shows James had become a farmer of 28.5 acres and they were living in Gloucester Road, Grovesend with just their son, James. The 1891 census shows their address as Thornbury Farm, Tytherington where they were living with James’s parents. James and Annie’s son, James was living nearby with his wife, Bethia and their children. Annie’s husband died in 1899 aged 64. The 1901 census shows Annie ‘living on her own means’ back in Oldbury Naite.Martha King – the 1840 Tithe Survey shows one of the almshouses was occupied by Martha King. Martha died aged 85 and was buried on 3rd May 1846. It is very likely that Martha was married to John King, a Thornbury nailer. They had several children: John born on 29th September 1797 and buried on 9th August 1798, another child named John born on 7th August 1799, Martha born on 7th March 1802, Joseph born on 2nd February 1805 and William born on 4th August 1807. Martha’s husband, John, died aged 67 and was buried on 23rd October 1807. It is worth noting that if his age on the burial record is correct, then John would have been producing children well into his 60’s. Of their children, we know that their daughter, Martha died aged 17 and was buried on 11th February 1820. Their son, John also pre-deceased his mother, dying at the age of 40 and being buried on 5th August 1839.
Ann Limbrick – the 1840 Tithe Map shows Ann was living in one of the almshouses. The 1841 census shows Ann was Ann was an almswoman aged 70 and she was living with her son, William, a mason aged 48. The 1851 census shows Ann was still living there, now described as an almswoman aged 79 from Thornbury.
Ann was born on 24th May 1771. She was the third daughter (and fourth child) of John Holland, a labourer from Olveston and his wife, Catherine. On 27th January 1791 Ann married William Limbrick and they had at least 8 children including William born on 11th July 1794, Elizabeth born on 25th January 1800, Thomas born on 22nd October 1802, Ann born on 29th February 1805, George born on 8th December 1807 and Joseph born on 10th March 1810. William died aged 68 and was buried on 27th October 1831. Ann moved to live in the almshouses by 1840 and died in 1855 and was buried on 18th March.
Elizabeth Martin – the 1851 census shows that Elizabeth was occupying one of the almshouses. She was a charwoman aged 62 from Higher Walton in Cheshire. The 1861 census shows that she was still living there, now being described as an ‘almswoman’, a widow aged 71 from Higher Walton, Cheshire. She died aged 73 and was buried on 13th March 1862.
Priscilla Martin – listed as living in the Almshouses in the 1876 and 1880 rate books. The 1881 census shows her living there with her son, Philip who was a labourer aged 33. Priscilla Jones was born in Olveston about 1822. In 1843 she married George Martin, a labourer from Wotton Under Edge. Their son, Philip was baptised in Thornbury on 19th January 1846. In the 1851 and 1861 censuses George and Priscilla were living at 26 Castle Street. By 1871 they had moved to Upper Bath Road. George died aged 54 and was buried on 25th July 1875. Priscilla died aged 61 and was buried on 12th March 1883.
Ellen Merrett – the 1899 rate book shows that Ellen was living in one of the almshouses. The 1901 describes her as a single lady working as a cook (not domestic) and aged 57 from Rangeworthy. She was also noted to be deaf. She was still listed as living there in the 1905 and 1910 rate books. We don’t know any more about Ellen.
Ann Morgan – the 1881 census shows Ann was an unmarried seamstress, aged 65 from Thornbury. She was still listed there in the 1885 Rate Book. We think ann died in 1885 and was buried on 12th October, but Scribes Alcove shows her age as 74.
Jane Nelmes – see Jane Banks above
Martha Olive – the 1861 census shows that Martha was occupying one of the almshouses. She was an ‘almswoman’, a widow aged 88 from Thornbury. She died aged 97 and was buried on 7th July 1863.
Hester Phillips – the 1899 rate book shows Hester is occupying one of the almshouses. The 1901 census shows Hester was a widowed washerwoman aged 69 from Alveston. She was still living in the almshouses in 1905. She died in 1906 aged 73. Click here to read more
Hannah Pride – the 1871 census shows that Hannah is living at the Almshouses. She is described as a widow aged 82 from Thornbury. Click here to read more about Hannah
Ann Screen – the 1861 census shows that Ann was occupying one of the almshouses. She was an ‘almswoman’, a widow aged 78 from Thornbury. Ann died aged 86 and was buried on 18th March 1868.
We think Ann was Ann Woodruff who married William Screen at Thornbury on 21st May 1810. In 1851 Ann was living with her husband William Screen in Morton. William was an agricultural labourer aged 69 from Rockhampton. William died aged 76 and was buried on 3rd January 1856.
Mary Smith – the 1871 census shows that Mary Smith was living in one of the almshouses. She was described as a widow aged 73 from Iron Acton and living with her grand-daughter, Hannah Stinchcombe aged 10. Mary had been the wife of James Hobbs, whose daughter, Eliza, married John Stinchcombe in 1846. Hannah was the daughter of John and Eliza Stinchcombe. Following the death of James Hobbs, Mary married Thomas Smith – click here to read more
Sarah Taylor – the 1840 Tithe Survey shows that Sarah was occupying one of the almshouses. The 1841 census shows that Sarah was an almswoman aged 80 living with Ann Taylor a charwoman aged 55. The 1851 census shows Ann was still living there, a now an unmarried almswoman – charwoman aged 62 from Thornbury. Sarah had died aged 84 and was buried on 11th February 1844. Ann died at the Union Workhouse aged 73 and was buried on 1st January 1861.
Hannah Trayhurn – the 1876, 1880 and 1885 rate books show that Hannah was living in the Almshouses. The 1881 census also shows Hannah in the almshouses and adds that Hannah was an unmarried domestic servant aged 70 who was born in Thornbury. Hannah was born on 22nd February 1811 and baptised on 26th May 1811. She was the daughter of John Trayhurn, a tailor and his wife, Ann. In 1851 Hannah was a dressmaker visiting her sister, Elizabeth Stephens who was living in Bedwellty near Tredegar. Another married sister, Charlotte Hawkins was also listed as a visitor there. In 1871 Hannah was in Warwick visiting her sister, Charlotte, and her husband, William H Hawkins a retired publican from Ireland.
Frances Trueman – the 1905 and 1910 rate books show that Frances was occupying one of the almshouses. We believe Frances was Frances Pritchard who married Charles Trueman in Thornbury on 21st May 1857. In this case, Frances was born about 1833, the daughter of Charlotte Pritchard who married Thomas Morgan, the Thornbury chimney sweep in 1836. In 1841 Frances was shown as aged 10 living in Mutton Lane (now Crispin Lane) with Thomas and Charlotte. In 1861 Charles and Frances are living in Shellards Lane, Alveston where Charles is working as an agricultural labourer. They continued living here throughout further censuses until 1901. Charles died aged 68 in 1902. Frances moved to the almshouses and died aged 86 in 1919.
Eliza Walker – the 1887 and 1890 rate books show that Eliza was living in one of the almshouses. The 1891 census shows Eliza was a widow aged 76 from Bath. Eliza was born in Bath about 1815, the daughter of Luke Tomer, a baker. On 29th December 1851 she married James Walker, a widower and the son of William Walker, a thatcher. At the time of the marriage James was a mason and both he and Eliza were living at Woodford and the marriage took place at Berkeley. In 1861` James and Eliza were living at Waterloo Cottage on Thornbury Hill and they were still there in 1871. By the 1881 census they had moved to Soapers Lane. James died in the Union Workhouse aged 76 and was buried on 15th March 1886. Eliza then moved to the almshouses by 1890, but she also died at the Union Workhouse aged 82 and was buried on 1st April 1892.
Flora Wathen – the 1851 census shows ‘Flower’ was living in one of the almshouses. She was described as an almswoman aged 82 from Wickwar. In 1841 she was living with her husband, Joel, a gardener aged 75. Click here to read more about Joel and Flora
Sarah Webb – the 1861 census shows Sarah living in one of the almshouses. She was described as an ‘almswoman’, a widow, aged 68 from Thornbury. The 1871 census shows she was still living there. She died aged 83 and was buried on 7th July 1875.
The records relating to Sarah are quite confusing because there at least two other Sarah Webbs in Thornbury around the same time. However we are fairly sure that this Sarah was married to George Webb. George Webb was baptised on 30th August 1789 at Hill. His parents were George Webb and Sarah Garland. George’s parents were married on 14th August 1791, by which time his mother, Sarah, was described as a widow.
George and Sarah had several children including George born about 1814, John born about 1823, Charlotte born about 1825, Thomas born about 1829, and Sarah baptised on 23rd September 1832. We believe that Sarah was baptised after her father was killed.
We think that it was George who was mentioned in the newspaper article shown on the right. This shows he worked as a labourer at Thornbury Park when he was ‘brutally attacked with bludgeons and killed by having his brains literally beaten out’. A newspaper article of 3rd January 1832 has more about the story of the murder of George Webb. It says that four men had been taken into custody and that two of them made a full confession. One of the offenders, whom the others said was very deeply implicated was called Joseph Pearce had escaped to a farm house in Morton where he was concealed and later made his escape. This article describes George Webb as “the poor fellow who was murdered, an industrious, quiet man” who “has left a wife and seven children.”
Yet another newspaper article, this time that of 27th March 1832 records the deaths in the County Prison of Thomas and Alfred Jenkins who were involved in the murder. The article seems to claim that it was the emotions caused by the events that killed them. “Such was the was the dreadful agitation of the minds of these men, that it brought on fever of the brain to such a violent degree as to cause death, notwithstanding every care and attention paid them”.
Joseph Thomas was the only man to be convicted and receive a punishment for the crime. He was transported to New South Wales in July 1832.
The 1840 Tithe Map shows Sarah living in the group of houses which became 28 and 28A Castle Street. She was still living there in the 1841 Census which shows Sarah aged 48 living with George, a hallier aged 27, Charlotte aged 15, Thomas aged 11 and Sarah aged 8.
The 1851 census shows that Sarah was working as a milk carrier and she was still living there with her son, John who was an agricultural labourer aged 28. Sarah’s daughters Charlotte and Sarah had left home to work as house servants in Clifton. Sarah’s son, Thomas had died aged 18 and he was buried on 7th June 1848. There was an inquest into his death but we haven’t yet got the details.
Ellen Werrett – the 1911 census shows that Ellen was living in the almshouses at that time. She was a single lady described as a cook aged 72 and born in Rangeworthy.