In recent years the house which was number 7 has been combined with the house which was number 9. We know from earlier records, and by looking at its construction, that the row of houses now known as 5 – 9 has been divided in a number of different ways in the past, and the house numbering has changed several times which makes it all very confusing! It is too complicated to try and describe these changes in a simple and meaningful way on the website.
Number 7 was a very small with one room upstairs and one downstairs. It was built before 1840. In the Tithe Survey taken in 1840 it was part of Plot 330 which seems to comprise 3 houses and gardens owned by William Rolph and occupied by James Aberhall, Richard Gale and James Williams. We are assuming that Richard Gale occupied number 7.
We have had great difficulty in identifying the other families associated with the house in the 19th century census records so we have not attempted to do so unless we have some other supporting sources. The history of occupants is therefore based on what people have been able to tell us, backed up by census, rate books and church records, electoral registers, school records etc.
Richard Gale – the 1841 census shows us that Richard was an agricultural labourer aged 80 living with Ann, his wife, aged 64. Richard was born in West Littleton, near Tormarton in Gloucestershire. He was baptised on 2nd February 1766 the son of Richard and Lucy Gale. On 20th January 1788 Richard married Sarah Packer. The IGI shows that they had at least 4 children: Elizabeth christened on 7th September 1788 and Richard born about 1790, Lucy born about 1793 and Abraham born about 1795, all three christened in Thornbury on the 3rd September 1797.
Sarah must have died and Richard moved to Thornbury. On 9th February 1818 Richard married Ann Birchall (presumably Burchell). Both Richard and Ann were widowed at this time. Ann died aged 66 and was buried on 11th February 1844 and in the 1851 census Richard was lodging with Henry Sargent in 6 Upper Bath Road (then Back Street). This census gives his age as 83 which matches his burial record which shows he died on 12th September 1852 aged 85 years. The census also shows he was born in West Littleton, Gloucestershire. Richard’s son, Abraham, also moved to Thornbury and in 1851 he was living next door at number 8 Upper Bath Road.
George Gough – in the 1861 census the house was occupied by George Gough, an agricultural labourer aged 39, his wife, Edith aged 39 from Cheltenham and their children: Eliza aged 8, James aged 6, Sarah Ann aged 4, and Mary aged 8 months. His father, George Gough, a widowed agricultural labourer aged 70 lived in the adjoining part of the house with his daughter, Hannah aged 22 and her husband, William Smart aged 21.
George (Jnr) was baptised on 1st September 1822, the son of George Gough, a labourer and his wife, Jane. On 2nd November 1851 George married Edith Lanfear, the daughter of Nicholas and Mary Lanfear, a labourer. George and Edith had two more children after the 1861 census: Caroline baptised on 5th October 1862 and Edith baptised on 5th June 1864. George died aged 43 years and was buried on 9th July 1865. Edith re-married on 26th June 1870 – her new husband was Thomas Longman, a widower.
William Wilson – in 1871 census the house appears occupied by William Wilson, an agricultural labourer aged 49, his wife, Elizabeth aged 51 and their children: Henry aged 21, Hester aged 18, Luke aged 12, Fanny aged 11 and Sarah Ann aged 9. They were still living there in the 1881 census, although by this time with only their daughter, Fanny a domestic servant aged 21. The rate books of 1876, 1880 and 1885 show William as living here. He had moved away in the 1890 rate book.
William married Elizabeth Attwells on 10th March 1845. Both of them had been married before. William had married Rebecca Bennett on 1st April 1849. She was the daughter of Isaac Bennett, a labourer. She died aged 20 and was buried on 22nd November 1850 after giving William a son, Henry, who was baptised on 21st October 1849.
Elizabeth was the daughter of John Stinchcombe, a labourer. She may be the Elizabeth baptised at Stone on 28th October 1821, the daughter of John and Anne Stinchcombe. She had married Jonah Attwells on 26th March 1844 and we are not sure when Jonah died, but it could have been 1845 when FreeBMDs reports an unnamed Atwells dying in Thornbury.
During the 1850’s the family were living at Crossways. William and Elizabeth had several children: Hannah baptised on 30th May 1852, Esther Emma baptised on 7th May 1854, George baptised on 6th July 1856, Luke baptised on 1st August 1858, Fanny baptised on 4th March 1860, Sarah Ann baptised on 2nd March 1862 and finally another George baptised on 3rd May 1863. Elizabeth died in 1884 aged 64. The 1891 census shows that William had moved to Shirehampton to live with his daughter, Esther, now married to Roland Morgan, a dock labourer.
George Baker – the 1887 rate book lists George as the tenant of the house.
William Tudor – in the 1890 rate book and the 1891 census William Tudor is occupying the house. He was a general labourer, a widower, aged 68. We know from the 1861 and 1881 censuses that William was born in Berkeley about 1830. He seems to have married Hannah Wilkins in 1855. Hannah was born in Horton about 1836. In 1861 they had been living in Rockhampton and by 1881 they were living in Gillingstool Road, Thornbury. They do not appear to have had any children. Hannah died and was buried on 9th February 1891 aged 54 years. William had left the house by 1894 rate book and he died at Lower Stone and was buried on 18th February 1900.
John Goodman – the 1894 rate book shows the house occupied by John Goodman. We assume John is the same person who lived in several houses in Thornbury. Click here to read more about John
G. Livall – we have a building application plan dated 1894 which shows that 7 Upper Bath Road was occupied by ‘G. Livall’. We know from baptism records that George Livall a stone quarryman aged 29 and his wife, Mary Ann aged 30 were living in Thornbury in the period 1894 -1896 when two of their sons, Frederick and Maurice were born. However both George and Mary Ann were living in Tytherington in the 1891 and 1901 censuses and the baptism records of Frederick and Maurice show the family’s address as ‘Gillingstool’. We cannot therefore be certain which G Livall was living here.
Henry Jefferies – the 1899 rate book shows Henry Jefferies was occupying the house. We suspect that he was the same person who was living in 9 Bath Road in 1910.
Robert Dixon – in the 1901 census the house was occupied by Robert Dixon, a certified pedler born in Charfield. Robert was a widow aged 64. Click here to read more about Robert
William Young – the 1905 and 1907 rate books shows William Young was occupying the house. We assume that this William is the same person who was living at 14 Upper Bath Road in the 1910 rate book and 1911 census. Click here to read more
Luke Higgs – the 1910 rate book shows that Luke was occupying the house. Click here to read more
Percy Walter Collins – we are guessing that Percy was living here with his wife, Ida Eveline. Click here to read more
We don’t know who lived in the house for a long period in the early 1900’s.
Albert & Ruby Screen – moved to live in 7 Upper Bath Road about 1924 and stayed there until about 1933. Albert’s mother, Caroline lived next door. Click here to read more about the Screens
Alfred Knowles – in the late 1930’s the house was occupied by Alfred Knowles. Alfred was born about 1878, the son of William Knowles. We know that Alfred was living in the house in 7 Upper Bath Road in the 1938 electoral register. His obituary says that Alfred had moved to Thornbury about 1935 after working in the cotton trade in Lancashire. Alfred was a window cleaner. In 1939 he married Mabel Violet Clutterbuck, the daughter of James Clutterbuck, retired postman. Both Alfred and Mabel had been before married before and widowed. Alfred died on 6th February 1945 aged 67. His obituary gives his address at the time as the High Street. In 1946 Mabel is listed in the electoral register as living in the High Street. She was still there in 1950. She died on 26th January 1951 aged 55.
Tandy – we have been told that the Tandy family lived in the house for some time. Unfortunately we don’t know which particular branch of this family or when they lived here.
In 1948 the three houses in the row (including number 7) were bought by Charlie Pitcher off Frances John Yates who lived in Shifnal (Shropshire). Almost immediately, Charlie sold two houses (numbers 7 and 9) to the occupant of number 9, Sam Collins.
Francis James Phillip and Nellie Norah Williams – we don’t know a great deal about the Williams family. We had been told that the family were not originally from Thornbury, although we found that Frank Williams was born in the Thornbury area. He was the son of Clement Williams and his wife, Beatrice Louise (nee Barrett). Clement was described as a general dealer living in Bath Road when their son, Robert Keith was baptised on 10th January 1913. The family had moved to St Mary Street when Frank and his brother, Clement Oswald, started at the Council Upper School in 1915 and 1916 respectively.
Francis James Philip Williams married Emaline Dorothy Turner of St Werburghs in Bristol in St Mary’s church in July 1933.
Frank is listed in the 1935 electoral register as living in ‘Outer Back Street’. He appears to have married for a second time as he married Nellie Nora Fletcher in the Thornbury area in 1936. The register compiled in 1939 in preparation for the war shows them living at 9 Rock Street. That register describes Frank as a road labourer born on 8th August 1907. Nellie was born on 26th December 1911.
Frank went under the intriguing nickname of the ‘Spanker’. They had one son, ‘Jimmy’ whose full name was James Phillip. Frank worked in the quarry when Jimmy was born on 4th march 1943. The family were listed as living in what we believe to be 7 Upper Bath Road in the 1946 and 1950 electoral registers.
The Western Daily Press of 15th March 1947 shows that Frank was still living at Upper Bath Road when he was involved in an unpleasant accident at work in the Saw Mills. He sustained head injuries when his head was caught in some shafting. He was taken to the Bristol Royal Infirmary but later discharged.
By 1954 they had moved to a prefab in Eastbury Road and they were still there in 1958, although they had moved away from Thornbury by 1965.
Tony & Gwen Billett – number 7 Upper Bath Road had been purchased by ‘Sam’ Collins in 1948 along with the house in which he lived, number 9. At first he let number 7 to the Williams family as tenants, and then when they vacated the house around 1954, the house was done up and extended and made suitable for his daughter, Gwen and her husband, Tony Billett. Since that time the two houses have been combined into one house. Gwen died in 2014. Click here to read more about Sammy Collins and the Billetts