]The occupants of 9 St John Street can probably be traced back to the mid 1700s.
Peter Park – the indenture dated 23 September 1807 refers to: “All those two messuages or tenements hereto before in one messuage or tenement wherein Peter Park, carpenter deceased then and for many years previous to and at the time of his death inhabited and John Mabbett and Jane Davis single woman afterwards dwellt and wherein the said John Mabbett and John Simons do now dwell”.
This tells us that Peter had died before 1807, that he had lived in the property for ‘many years’ up until his death, and probably when it was a single house. We do know that a man called Peter Park died in Thornbury in February 1783 aged 70 years. Obviously we have no way of knowing whether it is the same man as the one who lived in St John Street, but if it were the case it would mean that the houses had their origins back in the mid 1700s or earlier.
After Peter Park, we do not have a detailed history of the occupants. The 1807 indenture mentioned that after Peter the house was occupied at some time by Jane Davis, single woman and in 1807 John Simons was known to be living there. We also know from the 1850 indenture that Jane Edmonds lived in the house at some before that time.
The Walkers – George Walker, a butcher, was occupying the house in the 1840 Tithe Survey and the 1841 Census. Click here to read more
In 1850 when the house was bought by William Knapp, it was ‘void’.
John Packer Stinchcombe – John was living in the house in 1851. He was aged 26, working as a porter to a spirit merchant from Stone. He was living with his wife, Eliza 22 from Aust and sons, Henry Thomas aged 2 and John aged 4 months. Read more
John Morgan – in 1861 John Morgan and his wife, Elizabeth, were living in 9 St John Street. John was a house agent aged 62 born in Thornbury. His wife was Elizabeth, aged 55 and from Berkeley. It is interesting to note that John married three times, each time to a lady called Elizabeth. John was born about 1797, the son of William Morgan of Thornbury. William was described as a farmer when John married in 1840 and an innkeeper when he married in 1861. John himself was a tailor for most of his life. Later when he married in 1861 he was described as a bailiff and in the census of 1861 as a house agent. Read more
Sarah Wetmore – Sarah occupied the house in 1871. Sarah was widow, her husband had been Thomas Wetmore who had been born in Lodden, Norfolk about 1805. In the 1841 Census Thomas and Sarah were living in ‘Back Street’. We believe that their house was what later became known as 10 Chapel Street. Click here to read more
James Herbert – the Rate Book of 1880 shows that James Herbert was the tenant of Mark Crossman Meredith. The 1881 Census reveals that the house was occupied by James, a railway porter aged 30 from Bagpath near Stroud, and his wife, Anne aged 35 from Gloucester. They had three children: Gertrude aged seven born in Trent, Derbyshire, Ernest aged five and Bessie aged two, both born in Thornbury.
Working for the railways, the Herberts didn’t stay long in Thornbury. They must have moved to Thornbury about 1875. In 1871 James was a servant coachman, lodging with the Merrett family in Hempstead Gloucestershire. In June 1873, James married Ann Merrett. The 1891 Census shows they must have left Thornbury by 1885 when another daughter, Beatrice was born in Leicester. The family was now living in Ashby de la Zouch where James was employed as a railway gateman.
John White and Alfred Bartlett – the 1885 Rate Book just shows the name of the tenant at that time as “White”. The 1887 Rate Book shows that John White has just vacated the premises and been replaced by Alfred Bartlett. At this time we don’t know any more about either of these people.
Charles Parsons – Charles was living in the house in the Rate Book of 1890 and the 1891 Census. We do not know how long they stayed at St John Street, but Charles is shown in Castle Street in the 1896 Voters’ List. Charles was a butcher and he later took over the butchery business from the Ogborns. Click here to read more
William Vizzard – according to an indenture dated 21 February 1896, W. Vizard was then occupying the house. The Voters’ List 1896 shows this was William Vizard. William born in 1868, the son of John Vizzard, a labourer and his wife, Sarah Ann. They had been living at Lower Bath Road in 1871. The 1901 Census shows that William was a groom at a livery stables. He had married Susannah Rose Woollet in 1888 who was born about 1865 in London. They were living at Crossways. Note both the census records show the name spelt with a double Z. The Thornbury Trade directories of 1899 and 1904 show William Vizzard as a colt breaker in Crossways. William died in 1955 aged 86. His death was registered in the Bristol area.
William Newman – was renting the house from Mary Ponting in the 1899 Rate Book
George Thorne – was occupying the house from before 1901 up until at least 1916. The 1905 Rate Book confirms that he was renting the house from Mary Ponting. George was born in Thornbury about 1849. He was the son of Alexander Thorne, a journeyman tailor, and Sarah, a tailoress. The 1851 Census shows that the family lived in St Mary Street. George had five siblings at this time. They were obviously destined for the family trade. The oldest Emily was a dressmaker aged 21 and the other sister was Elizabeth, a milliner aged 17. His elder brother, Henry, was a tailor aged 15. The younger ones had no trade yet; Edgar was 10 years old and Albert aged 5.
George’s mother, Sarah, died on 11 February 1859 aged 51 years. By 1871 the rest of the family had left home and George had become a tailor. He was living with his widowed father, Alexander, then aged 62, in St Mary Street. George’s father died in 1875 and by 1876 the Rate Book shows George was living in Upper Bath Road in a house which later became known as 10 Rock Street.
George’s life took a dramatic turn when he married a wife twenty years younger than himself on 10 November 1889. His wife was Lucy Ann Phillips who was aged only 19, the daughter of Joseph Phillips, labourer. In 1881 Joseph had been a quarryman living on Alveston Down with his wife, Hester. In 1891 George, by then 41 and Lucy were living in a four room house in Lower Bath Road, which we think is the same house later known as 10 Rock Street. They had had one child, Hester Lilian, baptised on 29th September 1890 but she died the same year.
The 1901 census shows that George was a tailor aged 49 from Thornbury, and that he lived in this house with his wife, Lucy Ann aged 31 from Alveston, and their children: Mabel aged 8 and Hubert Victor aged 3. Mabel, died at only eleven years of age and was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 29th May 1904 in the June quarter of 1904. The 1911 Census shows George and Lucy living in the house with their son, Hubert.
On 3rd January 1915 Lucy Ann died aged 45. In August 1916 George’s son Hubert Victor aged only 18 was trying to claim exemption from conscription to the horrors of the First World War. George completed a form to explain that he and his son worked for John Williams the tailor (who lived round the corner at Gloucester House). His written application shows some of the tragedy behind conscription; “I am a tailor aged 67 years of age in failing health. My son who is the only child works in the same shop with me and assists in keeping the house together. He is the chief support of the home. Respectfully yours, George Thorne, John St.” The application for exemption was refused. Click here to read about Hubert in WWI.
The 1915 and 1916 Prewett’s Directories list George as living in ‘John Street’. George died in the County Asylum, Gloucester aged 68. He was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 22nd May 1917.
Edith Carver – we do not know when the next people moved into the house but Edith Carver was there by 1921. She is shown in the electoral register at the house until 1930 when she appears to have moved to 9 Pullins Green. Click here to read more
Frank and Augusta Smith – Frank and Augusta moved into the house around 1929 and the family were live here for almost 70 years. Click here to read more