More memories from Frank and an 1832 marriage settlement

Butler Davis deed dated the 23rd day of March 1832, Settlement on the Marriage of Mr William Butler with Mrs Jane Davis

Butler Davis deed dated the 23rd day of March 1832, Settlement on the Marriage of Mr William Butler with Mrs Jane Davis

This time I am writing about more memories from Frank and an 1832 marriage settlement

A couple sleeping in a Morrison shelter during the Second World WarBy Ministry of Information Photo Division Photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

A couple sleeping in a Morrison shelter during the Second World War

That’s Frank Sumsion who tells us about Senior School and the outbreak of the Second World War. Those days were certainly interesting with the Bath Blitz in 1942, having to use Morrison shelters to protect oneself from the bombing and with every item of food and drink was rationed. It’s all very different from today. He also tells us about starting work just after his 15th birthday, working at  Combe Down Waterworks, being in Bath Civil Defence Service, a a succession of different motorbikes, working at a mushroom farm and meeting his future wife Jane.

The Settlement on the Marriage of Mr William Butler with Mrs Jane Davis. William Butler it was who, along with William Harrold built Isabella Place after Thomas Maude, 2nd Viscount Hawarden (1767 – 1807) started to sell the estate of Ralph Allen (1693 – 1764) that he had inherited from his father Cornwallis Maude, 1st Viscount Hawarden to pay his father’s debts. His mother had been Mary Allen, Lady Maude (1732  – 1775), his father’s first wife, and the niece of Ralph Allen who built Prior Park Mansion.

The marriage settlement between William Butler and Jane Davis. A marriage settlement was very necessary in those days for a wealthy lady like Jane Davis – her assets in the settlement were £808 16s 11d which is now worth about £976,900.00. Once again things were very different from today. At the time an unmarried woman had the right to own property and make contracts in her own name but, upon marriage, a woman’s legal rights and obligations were subsumed by those of her husband. Married women did not have any rights due to the legal fiction, called coverture, that a husband and wife are one person. Once a woman married she had no claim to her property as her husband had full control and could do with it whatever suited him! This did not start to change until The Married Women’s Property Act of 1870.

I hope you enjoy more memories from Frank and an 1832 marriage settlement

Adverts and street furniture

There are two pages in the site that I have not yet mentioned in this blog – adverts and street furniture.

I find both really quite interesting as they speak about the culture of the time just by their design and look as well as their purpose.

However one looks at it, for better or for worse, adverts change and reflect society and so sometimes become interesting themselves. The local adverts that I have found that mention Combe Down or Monkton Combe generally fit in the ‘factual and banal’ category but are sometimes no less interesting for that in the context of local history.

Some of the adverts, like the one for Combe Down Brewery are clearly well ‘ahead of their time’ and one wonders who it was that created it. Others, such as the one for afternoon tea at Mayfield are so basic one wonders how well they worked, but, perhaps they are historic proof of less is more?

Afternoon teas at Mayfield - Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette - Saturday 5 November 1921

Afternoon teas at Mayfield – Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette – Saturday 5 November 1921

Combe Down Brewery 1862

Combe Down Brewery 1862

Street furniture such as post boxes, phone boxes, benches, fountains, watering troughs, memorials and everything else that has become so common now, such that now there are appeals to reduce some of it to stop motorists and others becoming confused, has exited since Roman times but it’s really only in the last 200 years or so that it has expanded from mile markers and the like.

Sometimes one has to look quite hard to find it like the waterworks plate, which many will, perhaps find ugly but which I think is quite charming. Others, such as the turnpike marker from 1827 are obviously charming and clearly well built to have survived for 190 years.

Turnpike marker on Combe Road

Turnpike marker on Combe Road

Combe Down waterworks plate on Bradford Road

Combe Down waterworks plate

So, adverts and street furniture, things to look out for.

Personal memories of Combe Down

I have long wanted to introduce some personal memories of Combe Down into the site. The article written by Jackie Carr, wife of Dr David Carr about the history of Combe Down surgery was a step in this direction.

J C Wilcox, Combe Down baker delivering at Southstoke early 1900s

J C Wilcox, Combe Down baker delivering at Southstoke early 1900s

Serendipity has struck with the memories of Frank Sumsion who was born on Combe Down in 1926, meaning he’s now into his 90s. He published these on Bathonian’s past and present memories on Facebook – a closed group for Bathonians and their families. I loved them and they had a great response from members. Thinking they deserved a wider audience, I contacted Frank and asked whether I could publish them here. Luckily he said yes, so they have been added.

Frank’s personal memories of Combe Down are about his childhood years in the 1930s. You may be interested to know that in his work life he joined Sparrows International Crane Hire in 1957 and became  Managing Director of Sparrows Heavy Crawler Cranes Ltd. He has a personal website about Sparrows.

Frank’s writing  about his personal memories of Combe Down brings out what life was like nearly 100 years ago, here’s just a taste of what he says:

"My first vivid memory as a four or five-year-old child was moving home with my dad, mum, two brothers and sister into an almost derelict cottage in Byfield Place, off Summer Lane, Combe Down. I clearly remember walking into a very dark room with one gas light in a corner, a stone sink and an iron fireplace with a hob and small oven...."

"My memories of Combe Down are still quite clear in my mind, it was all so different then. As children, we wandered everywhere and people seemed to notice you and talk to you more...."

"Another 50 yards or so brought you to Mrs Colmer’s sweet shop, a favourite of ours. Mrs Colmer ran the shop, and Mr Colmer, the local shoe repairer, worked in the cellar below. We wore boots most of the time, the soles covered in studs to make them last, my dad repaired them...."

"Towards the right-hand side of the Firs Field was a ‘light hole’, approximately 20 feet in diameter, it serviced the underground stone mines, it was surrounded by a dry-stone wall three or four feet high. We were told never to climb over the wall...."

"I vividly remember vast numbers of the once-common lapwing (the peewit). Before the Second World War lapwings would flock at Foxhill. There were no houses only fields, owned by Springfield Farm. Part of my evening paper round involved delivering to an old farmhouse, at the outset of war it was taken over by the Admiralty. During what must have been early summer, I would spend an hour or more sitting perfectly still in the fields, surrounded by hundreds of these birds. Also there always seemed to be a skylark, high in the sky, singing clearly..."

"I previously mentioned our return to Combe Down School. My first teacher was Miss Condy, she taught juniors and came from Claverton. She was kind and caring. I soon moved up the general classes and remember most of the teachers names...."

Please do read Frank’s personal memories of Combe Down, I promise you that it’s well worth it.

At The Old Vicarage – more tea Vicar?

Cleveland Bridge Bath in 1830 - engraving by FP Hay

Cleveland Bridge Bath in 1830 – engraving by FP Hay

I realised that I haven’t mentioned The Old Vicarage and the clergy of Combe Down in the blog.

That’s an error as  as the house was designed by Henry Edmund Goodridge (1797 – 1864) who designed one of Bath’s iconic monuments: Beckford’s Tower. He also designed one of the world’s earliest retail arcades The Corridor in central Bath. He designed Cleveland Bridge at the site of a Roman ferry crossing, linking the A4 London Road with the A36. It’s a cast iron arch bridge with lodges like miniature Greek temples at each corner and was was built in 1827 by William Hazledine. Oh, and he had also designed Holy Trinity church.

The Old Vicarage was used by the vicars of Combe Down until 1974 when it was sold to Dr John (Jack) Ferens Turner (1930 – 2002) and his wife Dr Anne Curtis Turner (née Pyke) (1939 – 2006).

Rev G W Newnham

Rev G W Newnham

There have been some interesting ministers living at The Old Vicarage, such as Rev George William Newnham (1806 – 1893) who was Vicar from 1842 – 1877. He was married 3 times and had 17 children!

His third wife Harriette Helen White (1820 – 1889) set up what became the Institution for Idiot Children and those of Weak Intellect at Rockhall House on Combe Down. He also started the Combe Down allotments.

There was Rev Carr Glyn Acworth (1842 – 1928) who was Vicar from 1877 – 1890. He was also was married 3 times but he had no children.

Rev Alfred Richardson (1853 – 1925) was vicar from 1902 – 1914. After he retired he wrote: An historical guide to Monkton Combe, Combe Down and Claverton with Rev David Lee Pitcairn (1848 – 1936) who was vicar of Monkton Combe from 1883 – 1914 and also a great grandson of Arthur Guinness (1725 – 1803) – the brewer.

Ven Albert Bushnell Lloyd (1871 – 1946) was vicar from 1930 – 1933. He  was a missionary and Archdeacon of Western Uganda. His written works include: Uganda to Khartoum (1906), In Dwarf Land and Cannibal Country (1907), Dayspring in Uganda (1921) and Apolo of the Pygmy Forest (1923).

 

Combe Grove area and Summer Lane

Thomas Sturge Cotterell

Thomas Sturge Cotterell

Recently I added information about the Combe Grove area and Summer Lane. By the Combe Grove area I mean Shaft Road and Brassknocker Hill.

On Brassknocker Hill that means that Combe Hill House and Combe Grove Lodge are covered and on Shaft Road that means that Lodge Style, Combe Grove Farm, Combe Grange and Ivy Cottages. In Summer Lane , Quarry Vale and De Montalt House are covered. De Montalt Mill is covered elsewhere with its history before 1850 here and its history after 1850 to modern times here.

The person who most caught my eye was Patrick Young Alexander (1867 – 1943) who lived at De Montalt House. He lived an interesting life – probably helped by the fact that his father left him a very large legacy – but was also an aeronautical pioneer fascinated by the prospect of heavier than air flight, an enthusiastic balloonist and meteorologist.

Another interesting person is Thomas Sturge Cotterell (1865 – 1950). He commissioned Lodge Style from Charles Francis Annesley Voysey (1857 – 1941) in 1909. Cotterell was General Manager of the Bath Stone Firms and a Bath Councillor, one of the main movers behind the Bath Pageant of 1909, an Alderman and Mayor of Bath in 1930. He also set up the Bath Corps of Honorary Guides. His uncle was Jacob Henry Cotterell (1817 – 1868) a land surveyor responsible for the 1852 map of Bath that appears regularly on this site.

The most frustrating area when researching the Combe Grove area and Summer Lane was Quarry Vale. I knew it would be difficult to find published information about the inhabitants for they were working class people – not middle class or higher and the ‘social medium’ of the day, the newspaper, did not really follow their world unless criminality or scandal was involved. This gives a distorted image of working people’s lives. So I decided to take a look at the census, give a flavour of the range of occupations, pick out a few that were well represented and give a thumbnail sketch of those, as well as try to find some news clippings. It’s not what I would have wanted to publish, but, if the information is not there….

Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading more about  the Combe Grove area and Summer Lane.

Bryan, Daubeney, Gore, Howard, Montagu and Richardson families

Recently I have added a family tree for the Bryan, Daubeney, Gore, Howard, Montagu and Richardson families. A fascinating insight into the relationships of leading families on Combe Down. Follow this if you can!

The Rev Reginald Guy Bryan (1819 – 1912) Principal at Monkton Combe School from 1875 until 1894. The Bryan family were related to the Gore family via Caroline Letitia Gore (1843 – 1920) the third wife of Rev Reginald Guy Bryan

Richard the Fearless statue in Falaise, France - by Imars at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., CC BY-SA 2.5, httpscommons.

Richard the Fearless statue in Falaise, France – by Imars at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., CC BY-SA 2.5, httpscommons.

The Gore family were related to the Daubeny / Daubeney family via Edith Henrietta Gore (1852 – 1931) Caroline’s sister and wife to Capt Charles William Daubeney (1860 – 1937). The Daubeney’s lived at The Brow. They were of direct Norman descent in the male line and descended from people who came over with William the Conqueror even if they were not companions of William the Conqueror and ancestry back to Richard “Sans-Peur” Fitz William (933–996), Duke of Normandy and from there to Ivar Halfdansson (c. 757 – 824) Jarl of The Uplands.

Helen Gertrude Bryan (1860 – 1917) married Rev Charles Howard (1853 – 1928) and Edith Mary Marow Bryan (1866 – 1951) married Rev Alfred Howard (1857 – 1945). Both were sons of Rev Thomas Henry Howard (1804 – 1885) whose other son Rev Richard Nelson Howard (1852 – 1932) was vicar of Combe Down from 1892 – 1897.

The Howard family were related to Rev Alfred Richardson (1853 – 1925) was vicar of Combe Down from 1902 – 1914. Rev Alfred Richardson was married to Emma Leatham (1853 – 1925) and her great aunt Mary Leatham (1738 – 1820) was married to Thomas Howard (1736 – 1834) whose grandson was Rev Thomas Henry Howard  and whose great grandson Rev Richard Nelson Howard (1852 – 1932) was vicar of Combe Down from 1892 – 1897.

Henry Grahame Montagu (1829 – 1916) was  Inspector of Nuisances in Bath, lived at Claremont House, 109 Church Road and was married at least four times and had 22 children.

He had 8 children with his first wife Louisa Maria Jenkins (1845 – 1890) whom he married in 1861 and who died on October 17th 1890. They had a son, also called Henry Graham Montagu (1862 – 1942) who lived at 113 Church Road from 1932.

Their daughter Ethel Montagu (1871 – 1919) was the second wife of John Cunningham (1846 – 1930) who had been married to Maria Howard (1848 – 1896) the daughter of Rev Thomas Henry Howard (1804 – 1885)  who was vicar of Warmley from 1860 – 1885 and two of whose brothers were married to daughters of Rev Reginald Guy Bryan (1819 – 1912), Principal at Monkton Combe School from 1875 until 1900. 

He had 5 children with his second wife Gertrude Kate Fortt (1872 – 1900), who died on January 12th 1900 from heart failure. Gertrude Fortt’s great uncle was William Fortt (1796 – 1880), ‘cook, pastrycook & confectioner’, who started Fortt & Son, later Cater, Stoffel and Fortt Ltd, and who lived at Hopecote or rather 1 Claremont Buildings as it was then.

There you have it, the Bryan, Daubeney, Gore, Howard, Montagu and Richardson families.

Pubs, inns, arms and crowns

A while ago I added a page about the pubs, inns, arms and crowns of Combe Down and Monkton Combe. In our small area there used to be at least fourteen but now there are five. When I first came to write this blog I thought it might be more about them, but I became side tracked and interested in why so many may have closed and whether things have changed for ever or whether the pendulum might, one day swing back.

An old English pub, 1930s

An old English pub, 1930s

When I was very much younger, in the 1970s, I had a flat in Brunswick Square in Brighton. So did my maternal grandfather whom I did not know well as he and my grandmother had divorced before I was born. However, he was now retired and frequented the Star of Brunswick pub in Brunswick Street West just behind the square. It has long since converted to a private home. We spent many convivial evenings in the pub over a pint or two while he smoked his pipe. There I got to know him and there were also many regulars, much banter and laughter.

The pub has long been a social venue, a social centre for a local community, a place to meet friends and a place to foster community spirit – pubs are good for social cohesion. A report by the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford for CAMRA called ‘Friends on Tap‘ suggests that local community pubs have unseen social benefits such as  a venue in which we can serendipitously meet new, in many cases like-minded, people but also  broaden our network of acquaintances and widen our experience by bringing us into contact with people from other walks of life, become more engaged with our local community and that this is likely to have significant health and wellbeing benefits.

Another study by Newcastle Business School, ‘The Importance of Pubs in Shaping Community Cohesion and Social Wellbeing in Rural Areas of England‘, of 2,800 rural parishes across the country over a 10-year period found that those areas which had a pub enjoyed a greater sense of community. There were more likely to be local football or cricket teams, charity fundraising events and branches of the Scouts and Brownies.

It seems that 40% of people in the UK typically socialise with friends in someone’s home and 30% prefer to do so in pubs and feel it important to have a pub nearby, but only 20% say pubs are a regular part of their life. 72% of people go to the pub to eat. I believe that great British pub is where the personality of the pub is created by the personality of the landlord, but a recent survey showed that it was second most important to the price and quality of the beer which is clearly dichotomous with the number of people who go there to eat.

  • Price and quality of the beer     33.6%
  • Personality of the landlord        24.6%
  • No music or TV screens          20.6%

But, cheaper alcohol from supermarkets, increases in rents and rates, the rise in duty and VAT, the smoking ban and a rise in the health conscious consumer have affected the British pub. In 2003, the average adult drank 218 pints of beer but by 2011 they consumed just 152 pints with sales in pubs down 54% whereas sales from off licenses were down only 10%.

Around 40% of pubs are owned by ‘pubcos‘ but 60% are independent. The number of pubs in the UK has almost halved since 1905:

  • 1905     99,000
  • 1935     77,500
  • 1951     73,400
  • 1971     64,000
  • 2006     58,200
  • 2016     52,750

However, The Society of Independent Brewers report ‘British Beer‘ says that 532 million pints were brewed by its 835 members in 2015 which is an increase of 15% over 2013 and 176% over 2009. They say that well over 75% of their members’ beer is served in pubs, restaurants and hotels.

A report commissioned by Greene King in 2008, ‘The enduring appeal of the local‘ from The Social Issues Research Centre also provides more hope that the pendulum may swing back. The pub is considered to be neutral territory compared with entertaining at home which makes some people feel pressured whereas the pub allows them to relax and be a less intense way of meeting people. A pub is a hub for sociability and the bringing together of people from different walks of life in a way that no other social institution or public space can match. We go to the pub ‘for a drink’, but ‘having a drink’ is a social act surrounded by tacit rules — a hidden etiquettes that gives us a sense of inclusion and belonging that is independent of our status in the mainstream world.

Barrister, Businessmen, Composer, Sailor, Soldiers & Writers

Frederic Edward Weatherly in 1895

Frederic Edward Weatherly in 1895

A while ago I added Belmont to the site and, as usual, I’m doing a quick update about what I found out.

It seems that the simplest way to give a flavour of Belmont, since Belmont House was constructed in the 1850s is to list some of the people who have lived in the houses in the road and what they did.

As you can see from the list below it’s, unsurprisingly for such a street with such large Victorian villas, a cross section of the 19th and 20th century British upper middle class: a Barrister, businessmen, composer, sailor, soldiers & writers.

Barrister & Composer

Frederic Edward Weatherly KC (1848 – 1929), St Christopher, Barrister & Composer of Danny Boy

William Henry Tucker 1814 - 1877

William Henry Tucker 1814 – 1877

Business

Charles Richard Osmond (1868 – 1933), Ashlands, Ironmonger
David Owen (1850 – 1933), Belmont House, Accountant
George Cruickshank (1814 – 1896), Belmont House, Hosier
James William Soane (1833 – 1912), West Brow, Music Dealer
Walter John Cook (1857 – 1925), Combe Ridge, Clothier
William Henry Tucker (1814 – 1877), West Brow, Cloth Merchant
William Livingstone Russell (1828 – 1911), Combe Ridge, Draper

Doctor

Dr Robert Lane Walmsley (1909 – 1982), Ashlands, Family Doctor

Gentry

Charles Norris Williamson

Charles Norris Williamson

Sir William Blunt 7th Baronet (1826 – 1902), West Brow, Baronet

Soldier

Col Hugh Augustus Boscawen (1805 – 1881), Combe Ridge, Indian Army and also great great grandson of Arabella Churchill (1648 – 1730)
Lt Col Arthur John Pilcher (1866 – 1960), Ashlands, Soldier & Engineer
Maj Gen Joseph Fletcher Richardson CB (1823 – 1900), West Brow, Indian Army
Maj Harry Edward Meade OBE (1884 – 1952), West Brow, Soldier

Sailor

Admiral Sir Richard Henry Peirse KCB KBE MVO DL JP (1860 – 1940), Belmont House, Royal Navy

Writers

Charles Norris Williamson (1859 – 1920) and Alice Muriel Livingston (1869 – 1933), St Christoper, Novelists
Eliza Margaret Jane Gollan (1850 – 1938), West Brow, Novelist

Church Road Villas, a Viking and Directories

Wikinger. Danes about to invade England. From Miscellany on the life of St. Edmund from the 12th century.

Wikinger. Danes about to invade England. From Miscellany on the life of St. Edmund from the 12th century.

This month the Church Road Villas, a Viking and Directories are what it’s about.

The Victorian villas on Church Road, Combe Down have, now, been covered:

Directories

I have also added images from some Post Office Directories and some Kelly’s Directories. 

There’s some brief background information about directories and then one link to the following that have been added so far:

More pages and infills about Combe Down

Glasshouse cafe - Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette - Saturday 26 October 1929

Glasshouse cafe – Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette – Saturday 26 October 1929

I have added more pages and infills about Combe Down by filling in some obvious gaps.

There’s some old adverts mentioning Combe Down or Monkton Combe – none very exciting it has to be said, but hopefully further research will find some that are. Having said that, even if the adverts themselves don’t excite they can lead to little known gems. Gems such as the 1912 Bath and West Show being held on Glasshouse Fields. I was unaware of this until I saw the ad and it also created a good opportunity to infill a bit about the background of the Glasshouse name.

I have added some more Combe Down maps and map links and moved it in the navigation too.

More old photos of Combe Down, Prior Park and Monkton Combe have been added.

A short section on the Monkton Combe lock up, an obvious omission, has been added. Another obvious omission, the Combe Down Jewish cemetery has be added too. Other additions cover Allotments on Combe Down, the old Wesleyan Reform chapel behind Glenburnie and some information about The Firs or Firs Field on Combe Down. This is now a Centenary Field protected in perpetuity through a legal Deed of Dedication between the Council and Fields in Trust, meaning that ownership and management of the site remain in local hands.

I have also added a section on Claremont Buildings or Hopecote Lodge as it is now known. It, along with Isabella Place and 109 – 117 Church Road, was part of the second wave of building on Combe Down from 1800. Some interesting people lived there including William Fortt who founded Fortt’s Refreshment Rooms in Milsom Street. Forrt’s later merged with tow other Bath firms to form Cater, Stoffell & Fortt that made the famous Bath Oliver biscuits.

There was also Rhoda Mary Hope (1828 – 1910) whose sister Sarah Clegg Hope (1832 – 1863) is the 2nd great-grandmother of Camilla Rosemary Shand (b. 1947), now Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall. It was Rhoda’s nephew Dr Charles Middleton Coates (1857 – 1933), the son of Sarah Clegg Hope, who turned 1 – 3 Claremont Buildings, three Georgian buildings similar to 113 – 117 Church Road into one building with the French mansard it has now. One of his sons Donald Bateman Hope Coates (1904 – 1994) seems to have been a spy for the Cairo Gang inter-alia.

1 - 3 Claremont Buildings, later Hopecote, later Hope Cote Lodge, Combe Down

1 – 3 Claremont Buildings, later Hopecote, later Hope Cote Lodge, Combe Down