Number 11 is the house on the left in the above photograph.
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.
From our research in Gloucester Records Office, we are fairly confident that the house was built in the mid 1820’s by John Bevan, a Thornbury cooper. We found two indentures, the first dated 1824 refers to a newly erected dwelling built by John Bevan on the garden land to the north of St John Street. We believe this refers to the house now known as number 15. The property was sold by John Bevan to James Withers of Thornbury, carpenter. Mary Jefferys of Southampton is also mentioned in the indenture, but we assume she may have provided the mortgage for John Bevan.
The second indenture dated 1827 refers to the same newly built dwelling and three other properties all built by John Withers Bevan on the garden land. We believe this refers to the houses now known as numbers 11, 13 and 15. We are somewhat confused by the reference to 3 other properties, and it might just mean that number 15 is one of the three. The other obvious problem with this document is that it is saying that John Withers Bevan built all the houses. This is contradicting the 1824 document which says that John Bevan built the first house. John Withers Bevan was the son of John Bevan, the cooper and his wife Hester (nee Withers). It is possible that father and son were both responsible for building the houses or that the author of the document had simply confused the two John Bevans.
The Withers – the 1827 indenture referred to above also appears to suggest that James Withers had a mortgage from John Withers Bevan and that the two of them were leasing the properties to Thomas Smith of Henbury, yeoman, for a period of one year. It was standard practice to lease for one year as a first step in the purchase of a property. In this case however it would appear that the sale was not completed as the houses were owned by Luke Withers in 1840. The 1859 Rate Book confirms that the house is still being owned by Luke Withers.
There would appear to be a connection between John Bevan, John Withers Bevan and the person who bought the property from them, James Withers. It is possible that James Withers was a brother of John Bevan’s wife Hester but we have not found any evidence to confirm or disprove this. We know from the 1840 Tithe Survey that all three houses were owned by Luke Withers. Click here to read about the Withers 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