Number 11 is the house on the left in the above photograph.
Initially we had assumed that this property was built around 1820. However in 2019 the Museum acquired a set of indentures which show there was a building on this location from the late 1600s. The building there today is not the same one that was there in 1688. We know that it was re-built at least once. An indenture dated 1807 for the property next door (9 St John Street) mentions that there was a ‘new built messuage or tenement and premises of James Wither carpenter’ on its eastward side.
An indenture dated 20th April 1688 shows that the property was conveyed from Alice Peasley to Anthony Powell for £6 10s.
Alice Peasley – in 1688 Alice was described as a single woman of the City of London. She had inherited the property from her father Thomas Peasley and the house was occupied by Margaret Scott a widow when the will was written in 1683. Thomas Peasley had been associated with the Thornbury pub, the Widows Mantle. Click here to read more
Anthony Powell – in 1688 Anthony was described as an innholder of Tytherington, but he was also associated with the two Thornbury pubs, the Mermaid and the Tavern. He was the eldest son and heir of Thomas Powell the younger of Thornbury cordwainer. Click here to read more
The property was described as ‘all that one messuage lying in the backstreet in Thornbury neare unto Saint Johns Crosse with the gardens orchard and backside thereunto adjoining lying in the backstreet in Thornbury adjoining to the lands of one Henry Marsh called Brays on or nigh the east part and the tenement of one Daniel Thurston on or nigh the west part and adjoining to the high way in the backstreet on or nigh the south part. All which premises are in the Mannor of Mars and Falfield’. It was occupied in 1688 by Sarah Blisse. (Note -the Manor of Mars and Falfield was a separate manor which was consolidated into the Manor of Thornbury about 1669.
In Anthony Powell’s will proven on 11th January 1720 he left this property to his only son Nicholas Powell. On 4th February 1720 Nicholas arranged a mortgage of £50 on the property with William Collins. At this time Nicholas was an innholder at Falfield. The property was described as ‘all that messuage or tenement lying within the Tything of Falfield and fronting the backstreet in the borough of Thornbury neare unto Saint Johns Crosse there wherein one Thomas Powell now dwelleth with the gardens orchard and backside to the same belonging adjoining to the lands of now of Henry Marsh called Brays on or nigh the east part and a tenement now of Edward Thurston on or nigh the west part and was by him the said Anthony Powell lately purchased from Alice Peasley spinster’.
We have no further information on the property until the third indenture in the set dated 22nd March 1788. This shows the property being conveyed from Joseph Isles to James Wither or Withers, carpenter of Thornbury. Joseph was a butcher and the eldest son and heir of Joseph Isles who had inherited the property and then died intestate.
The property was described as ‘all that messuage of Joseph Isles (the father) for many years before and at the time of his death inhabited and wherein Sarah Isles the widow of Joseph Isles (the father) doth now dwell with the outlet and garden having land formerly of Henry Marsh but now of Hester Bagnell called Brays on the east or eastwood part and a messuage of Peter Park but now of Ann Powell on the westward part and a street thereon on the southward part thereof. Which said messuage etc are situate in the Tything of Falfield and fronting a street formerly called the Back Street of the Borough near a place there formerly called St Johns Cross and were later the estate and inheritance of the said Joseph Isles (the father) on whose death intestate the same came to the said Joseph Isles his eldest son subject to the life estate settled on the said Sarah Isles her tenants or assigns’.
We know that James Withers re-built the house about 1807. An indenture dated 23rd September 1807 for the property next door (9 St John Street) mentions that there was a ‘new built messuage or tenement and premises of James Wither carpenter’ on its eastward side.
The 1840 Tithe Map shows that Luke Withers owned three properties on the areas numbered 239 and 240 which are now known as 11, 13 and 15 St John Street, and that he was living in number 15 which is referred to as ‘a house and garden’. The other two properties were described as two ‘houses and courts’ occupied by Martha Allen and Susan Watkins. We guess that it was Susan Watkins who lived in number 11. The term ‘court’ suggests that there was just a little courtyard at the rear, and no garden. The 1859 Rate Book confirms that number 11 is still being owned by Luke Withers. Click here to read more about Luke Withers and his family
The Cullimores – although we haven’t seen the documents to confirm this, we have seen other documents showing that on his death in 1868 Luke Withers gave other property which he owned at 2 Crispin Lane to the Cullimore family. The Rate Books of 1876 to 1899 confirm that the house and the two houses next to it (numbers 11 and 13 ) were owned by Hester Cullimore. Click here to read more
There was an interesting court case involving the property on 7th March 1883. The owner of the property, Hester Cullimore, was charged with not converting the cesspool at the cottage into an ash closet and thus keeping a privy which was a nuisance and injurious to health. Hester was given 14 days to abate the nuisance and to construct the privy in a way to prevent any further nuisance.
A newspaper article of 24th August 1895 advertises the sale of various houses in St John Street that were the property of Mark Crossman Meredith and his wife. The description refers to the fact that numbers 7 and 9 St John Street were next door to a property owned by ‘L Cullimore’. This could be taken to mean that Luke Cullimore had taken over ownership of the house before the death of Hester as it was not until the December quarter of 1899 that Hester Cullimore died.
By 1905 the Rate Books confirms this house and the two next door were owned by Luke Cullimore. Luke was Hester Cullimore’s younger son. Luke Cullimore died on 28th April 1917 aged 71. In his last will dated written in 1901 he had given his property in trust for the benefit and use of his wife, Amy Lucy Cullimore and said that after her death it should be sold by his trustees.
Mrs Amy Lucy Cullimore died on 21st December 1925. The Trustees were Arthur Daniel Cullimore of 179 Westbourne Grove Bayswater London butcher and Wallace James Cullimore of Exton House, Second Avenue, Hove, Sussex, Retired officer of the Merchant Service. They sold the property in March 1926 to Frank Tucker, Thornbury builder. We suspect that they also sold Frank the other two properties, 13 and 15 St John Street.
Frank Tucker – Frank was a Thornbury builder, one of the two Tucker brothers. Frank and his family had been living at 15 St John Street as a tenant since 1885. The 1926 rate book appears to indicate that Frank and his family continued living at number 15 and that number 11 was let out.
Frank Tucker died on 7th August 1937 and put into trust for the benefit of his wife Alice. His Trustees were Norman Frank and Ronald George Edward Tucker, builders and Frederick Thomas Sainsbury, house decorator. They sold the house in December 1951 to Francis Arthur White. Click here to read about Frank Tucker
Francis Arthur White – was described as a ‘Viewer at Aeroplane Works’ when he acquired the property in 1951. It was bought for Francis’s parents who had been renting the house as tenants of Frank Tucker for many years. Click here to read about the Whites