A tribute to the life and work of Brian Torode
(?) James Eley (-1688) and Mary (-1686)
(?) James Eley (1644-1719) and Elizabeth (1650-1723)
James Eley I (1688–1754) an Elizabeth Morgan (–1747)
James Eley II (1736-1803) and Ann Taylor (-1799)
Exciseman of Ledbury, Leominster, Birmingham, Banbury etc
James Eley III (1762-1831) and Elizabeth Greenwood (1763-1814)
Linendraper of Thornbury |
Thomas Eley (1794-1864) and Sarah Park (1806-1859)
Farmer of Lower Morton
James Eley IV (1836-1874) and Ann Shield (1837-1934)
Farmers of Lower Morton, Kingswood and Tortworth
Ernest Edward Eley (1869-1950) and Emily Yarnold (1866-1951)
Farmer of Berkeley, Kingswood and Cranham
Grace Margaret Eley (1897-1940) and William Edward Terrett
Son of James Eley III and Elizabeth (nee Greenwood)
Husband of Sarah Park
Father of James Eley
Also Father of Thomas and Selina
Thomas Eley was born on 14th January 1794, the second son of James and Elizabeth Eley of Thornbury. His father was a staymaker and linendraper of the Plain. The family were very involved with Thornbury Baptist Church and either his father or grandfather had laid the foundation stone in 1788. Thomas Eley was, himself, baptised at Thornbury Baptist Church on 11th July 1832.
On 22nd May 1833 Thomas Eley married Sarah Park at St Mary’s Parish Church, Kingswood. She was the fifth daughter of Peter and Elizabeth Park of Kingswood and had been baptised at the Parish Church there on 26th February 1806. Sarah’s parents had both died many years before her wedding and she was one of thirteen children. Her father had been a Yeoman and her mother was a daughter of Nicholas Trotman, a Yeoman of Hawkesbury. Three of Sarah’s brothers farmed at Kingswood and these included Thomas, the eldest, at Highwood Farm, Peter at Neathwood Farm, and John Trotman Park at Mireford or Merryford Farm, Kingswood. When Uncle John died in 1873 his nephew, James Eley, younger son of Thomas and Sarah Eley, took over Merryford Farm
Thomas Eley was a party to deeds relating to the Baptist Churches at Thornbury and Morton on 27th and 28th May 1831 and again on 7th May 1834. Thomas was described as a Yeoman of Lower Morton.
Extract from “250 years Thornbury Baptist Church 1747-1997” and from fuller notes made by Rev. A. David Edwards (1993):
‘Expansion. The sign of expansion came during the ministry of the Rev. W.J. Cross 1832-1844, who is the first Minister of whom we have a portrait. Whilst in Thornbury he distributed 8,000 copies of the Scriptures. The Church, through generous gifts from his father, William Cross Esq., of Bristol, was able to start the work at Morton (1834), Berkeley (1835) and Tytherington (1841). He was a firm disciplinarian and when in the spring of one year the church allowed a member, who had opened a beer shop, to keep it open until Midsummer, he had his way and the member agreed to stop at once. On open Communion, they were not so sure and in 1832 the decision was deferred from Church Meeting to Church Meeting, until after at least four meetings, it was agreed to “admit pious Paedo-Baptists (sic) to the Lord’s Table”. Members were dismissed for fornication, and slander of fellow members. Frequent days of prayer were encouraged with the result that the Chapel as mentioned above, could not contain them and had to be extended. Many Pseudo-Baptists were also baptised. When he resigned from the Pastorate, the Church had 78 members and 210 children in the four Sunday Schools.
The next three Ministers, John Eyres 1844-1852, Mr Le Fevre 1853-1856, lived during quieter periods, but Mr. Matthews, May 1860-September 1871 had many problems, especially with drunkenness, for which many members were dismissed from the Church. He speaks of a ‘barren year’, a year of ‘spiritual dearth’ etc.’
Other Ministers: Mr John Light for two years between 1856-60 and Rev C. Rees 1872-1902 – ‘older friends remember his flowing beard’)
In the 1841 Census he is described as a Farmer of Lower Morton living with his wife Sarah, sons, Thomas and James, and a three year old daughter, Selena. Henry Park, aged 15yrs was staying with them and 20 year old, Thomas Pinnell, presumably his nephew, was working as an agricultural labourer.
In the 1851 census we find the family is still in the Lower Tything of Morton. Thomas is now aged fifty-seven and is described as a farmer and born in Thornbury. His wife, Sarah, is forty-seven and is described as a farmer’s wife, born in Kingswood. Their elder son, Thomas, is a seventeen-year-old Cooper, born in Thornbury and their younger son, James, is a fifteen-year-old farmer’s son, who was also born in Thornbury. Their daughter, Selena, would seem to have died by then. Sarah Eley died on 10th August 1859, according to Thornbury Baptist Church records, leaving her husband, Thomas, a widower.
In the 1861 census Thomas Eley was described as a retired Farmer living with his twenty-five-year-old son James who was working as a Carpenter, his forty-nine-year-old housekeeper, Mary Mills, and Mary Machin, an eighty-four-year-old pauper. Thomas Eley’s will was made on 16th September 1859 and he died on 15th February 1864.
His death certificate records that he died at Morton, Thornbury, aged seventy years. He was described as a Yeoman and the cause of his death was given as ‘Dropsy – not certified’. The informant was James Eley of Morton who was in attendance. Thomas Harvey registered the death on 17th February. The Bristol Mercury obituary column for 20th February 1864 reported: ‘February 15, at Morton, near Thornbury, Mr. Thomas Eley’.
Thomas Eley’s will was proved during that year and his estate was valued at less than £100. I have a contemporary silhouette of Thomas and his wife Sarah and Thomas has signed his on the reverse.
Thornbury Baptist Church Records:
On 27th May 1831 Jno Shepd, James Eley, Linendraper, and Thomas Eley, Thornbury, Yeoman, signed a lease and a release on 28-5-1831
In 1831 James Eley and Thomas Eley were Trustees. Later John (sic) Eley, Thomas Eley, James Eley, Farmer of Morton appl 28-6-1871 and Henry Eley, Saddler of Cotham 1871
Ind re Morton Chapel cet Eliz. Eley spinster receipt Thomas Eley, Yeoman and James Eley, Berkeley saddler Exp.6-8
List of Members c. 1831
Martha Eley died 9-1-1850
Thomas Eley Morton
Sarah Eley Dismissed from Baptist Church, Hillesley
Elizabeth Eley died Jany 1850 (Baptised 4-7-1837)
Eley Bruton Bapt 12-12-1835
Eliz Greenwood Bapt 29-10-1841 (Bristol??)
Eliz Eley of Berkeley Bapt. 12-4-1848 (Elizabeth Bennett)
Thomas Eley to be member after baptism 11-7-1832
Sarah Eley dismissed from Baptist Church, Hillesley 4-9-1833
Eliz Bruton to be accd after baptism 7-12-1835 (dau of Ely)
Eliz Eley proposed to be accd after baptism 2-7-1837
Sarah Eley Rec’d from Hillesley Baptist Church 2-7-1837
Eliz Trotman to be accorded after baptism -/11/1839
Eliz Greenwood to be accorded after baptism 27-9-1841.
John Greenwood proposed (but 13-4-42 not thought desirable at present)
One young friend Eliz Eley to be encouraged to join 13-3-1848
And proposed after baptism 14/-/1848
Miss Eliz Eley died 7-3-1850
Miss Martha Eley died 9-1-1850
Miss Anne Shield of Tytherington received 22-4-1861 baptised 28-4-1861
Mr Elley from Berkeley was baptised – he is a member of an independent church 20-1-1861
James Bruton, Carpenter, Thornbury, Deacon & S.S. Supt. Died
Mrs James Eley of Morton member 1871
List of Members 1853:
James Bruton died 2-4-1862
Thomas Eley Morton died
Sarah Eley of Morton died 10-8-1859
Notes regarding the silhouettes by Frank Marling or one of his brothers or sisters:
‘Thomas Eley of Morton, father of James Eley, who married Anne Shield. Thomas married Sarah Park, Kingswood. Thomas was brother of James Eley, who married Ann Colenutt, of Ryde, I.o.W. Martha, one of their daughters married Oliver George Marling. Kathleen has silhouettes of father mother of Thomas Eley (possibly Thomas who married Greenwood. (Ken Marling has added the note: ‘It was James of Thornbury who married Elizabeth Greenwood’) Silhouettes were property of Thomas Eley & given by Ann Eley to my mother. Signed by Thomas. Mrs Thomas Eley nee Sarah Park.’
‘My mother (wife of F.G.M.) took me to Kingswood to see “Aunt Park” widow of John Park, who was a brother of Sarah Park. Aunt Park, nee Mary Witts was born at Haroldsfield later the home of Ernest Eley. Her nephew Charlie Witts, took Tortworth Farm after Grandma Eley left’
Extract from the Journal of Walter Eley of 1900:
‘Our road led past the Union, then we turned left and drove through Morton, the village where Uncle Thomas lived and died. We were pleased to see the old home again. We noted Morton Maypole in the centre of the village and also the little Baptist Chapel, the land on which it stood being given for that purpose by our aunt Elizabeth Eley.’
The Will of Mrs Ruth Park, widow of Peter Park, brother of Sarah Eley:
Aunt Ruth Park died on 6th December 1895 and left the residue of her estate to be divided amongst her nephews and nieces. The estate was settled on 31st January 1918. The five children of Thomas Eley, deceased, received £51-4-10d divided between them from their great aunt’s estate and the six children of his brother James Eley, deceased, received £51-4-10d divided between them.
Morton Baptist Church History
This brief summary is largely extracted from ‘Morton Baptist Church, 1834-2009′ with edits for brevity and clarity.
The work at Morton was founded in 1834 during the ministry at Thornbury Baptist Church of the Rev W.J. Cross, which lasted from 1832-1844. The Church, through generous gifts from his father, was able to start three outreach works at Morton (1834), Berkeley (1835) and Tytherington (1841).
The indenture for the building, dated 7th May 1834, provides that the Meeting House is to be occupied and enjoyed by the sect or denomination of Protestant Dissenters called ‘Baptist’. Certain doctrinal standards are written into the deed, which states that all Ministers or Pastors who shall from time to time officiate in the Meeting House, shall hold and preach the doctrines:
– Of the divinity of our Saviour Jesus Christ
– Of the fall of man and his recovery by the free and sovereign grace of God
– Of man’s redemption by Jesus Christ alone
– Of justification by faith in Him alone
– Of sanctification by the Holy Spirit (in the life of the Christian believer)
– Of the sacred scriptures as the rule of conduct
– Of the inseperable connection of holiness of life with the pardon of sin (meaning that a Christian believer will live a changed life)
The earliest list of members at Morton is from 1853, and it contains 20 names. The church was not independent, but was in a ‘group’ along with the other chapels, governed by Thornbury Baptist Church.
From 1834-1982, meetings at Morton consisted of an afternoon Sunday School and an evening service.
Daughter of Peter Park and Elizabeth (nee Trotman)
Wife of Thomas eley
Mother of James Eley IV
Also Mother of James and Selena
Sarah Park was the fifth daughter of Peter and Elizabeth Park of Kingswood and was baptised at the Parish Church there on 26th February 1806. Sarah’s parents had both died many years before her wedding and she was one of thirteen children. Her father had been a Yeoman and her mother was a daughter of Nicholas Trotman, a Yeoman of Hawkesbury. Three of Sarah’s brothers farmed at Kingswood and these included Thomas, the eldest, at Highwood Farm, Peter at Neathwood Farm, and John Trotman Park at Mireford or Merryford Farm, Kingswood. When Uncle John died in 1873 his nephew, James Eley, younger son of Thomas and Sarah Eley, took over Merryford Farm.
Sarah became a member of Hillesley Baptist Church and it is possibly through the Baptist Church that she met Thomas Eley of Lower Morton, Thornbury. On 22nd May 1833 Thomas Eley married Sarah Park at St Mary’s Parish Church, Kingswood.
On 4th September 1833 Sarah became a Member of Thornbury Baptist Church having been dismissed from Hillesley Baptist Church. In the 1841 Census her husband was described as a Farmer of Lower Morton living with his wife Sarah, sons, Thomas and James, and a three -year old daughter, Selena. Henry Park, aged 15yrs was staying with them and 20 year old, Thomas Pinnell, presumably his nephew, was working as an agricultural labourer.
Sarah Eley died on 10th August 1859, according to Thornbury Baptist Church records, leaving her husband, Thomas, a widower.
Her death certificate records that Sarah died at Lower Morton, Thornbury, on 9th August 1859 and her age was given as fifty-six years. She was described as the wife of Thomas Eley, a landed proprietor, and the cause of death was given as ‘Apoplexy – certified’. The informant was Ann Allen of Upper Morton who was present at the death. The death was registered by Edward Salmon on 10th August.
Tom Eley was born in about 1834 at Thornbury and was at home at the time of the 1841 census. In 1851 he was described as a seventeen-year-old Cooper and was still living at home.
Thomas Eley married Maria Clapp on 31st May 1857 at St Paul’s Parish Church within Bristol Registration District. He was of full age described in the register as a bachelor and a Cooper of Victoria Street, the son of Thomas Eley a yeoman. Maria was a spinster of full age of Victoria Street, the daughter of Richard Clapp, a Smith. Both signed their names and the witnesses were Richard and Elizabeth Clapp. Maria died during the second quarter of 1858 in Bristol.
In the 1841 census a Maria Clapp was a fifteen-year-old female servant of Charles Calcott, a thirty-year-old Butcher of St Philip and St Jacob Parish, Bristol. She was born out of the county. In 1851 a Maria Clapp, aged twenty-years, was a servant at 3 Old Market Street, Bristol with Charles Calcott, a Pork Butcher’s Son. She was described as being born at Alviscombe, Devon.
In the 1861 census Thomas Eley was described as a twenty-seven-year-old Widower and Cooper and born at Moreton. He was boarding with George Radford, a thirty-five-year-old Farrier of Rosemary Street, Weir, St Paul’s, Bristol. In 1861 he inherited the dwelling house and garden, stables and orchard at Morton from his father
He married Harriett Ann Gould on 2nd May 1863 at Bristol Register Office. He was described as a twenty-nine-year-old Widower, a Cooper, the son of Thomas Eley, a Farmer. Harriett Ann was described as a twenty-five-year-old Spinster, the daughter of Joseph Gould, deceased, a Farmer. The bride and groom were both living at 1 Rosemary Street, Bristol and the witnesses were Albert Bowden and William Wilding.
Harriett was born in about 1837 at Littleton, Somerset. She was the daughter of Joseph Gould and his wife Ann (probably nee Laver). In the 1841 census her father was at Compton Dundon and was described as a forty-five-year-old Farmer whilst Harriet was aged three years. In 1851the family was at Ashcott, Polden Hill, and Joseph was described as a fifty-one-year-old farmer and his wife, Ann, was aged forty-one-years and born in North Cadbury. Their daughter Harriett A. Gould was aged thirteen and born at Compton. In 1861 the family was still at Ashcott. Ann was described as a fifty-seven-year-old Widow and Farmeress of sixty five acres employing three men and a boy. With her were her children Joseph H. a twenty-seven-year-old Farmer’s son and born in Glastonbury; Harriet A. aged twenty-three-years, a Draper’s Assistant, born in Littleton; Samuel L. Gould a twenty-one-year-old farmer’s son born in Littleton; Francis (or Frances – check?) E. Gould aged nineteen years and Mary Jane aged fourteen years.
Laver is clearly a significant name for Harriet’s family and was probably her mother’s maiden name. George Laver and his family lived at North Cadbury. He was an agricultural labourer and also had a daughter Harriet (born 1838c). George Laver was probably Ann Gould’s brother and Harriet Eley’s uncle.
Thornbury Baptist Register entry (1870):
William Gould Eley, 9 months Son of Thomas and Henrietta Ann Eley of Bristol
In the 1871 census return Thomas and Harriett Eley were living at Egerton Road, Horfield, Bristol. He was described as a thirty-seven-year-old Cooper and born in Thornbury. His wife Harriett A. Eley, was aged thirty-three-years and born at Littleton in Somerset. The children were given as Thomas J. L. aged seven years; Sarah A. aged four years and Elizabeth J. aged three years. All the children were born in Bristol.
Enter a caption
In 1880 Thomas Eley was described again as a Cooper. He died aged about forty-seven-years on 2nd April 1881 at 44 Picton Street, Stokes Croft, Bristol. He was buried at Thornbury Baptist Church on 4th April 1881. The Bristol Mercury and Daily Post for 9th April 1881 reported: ‘April 2, at 44 Picton Street, Thomas Eley, late of Thornbury, aged 47 years’.
After his death contact with his brother’s family became very rare and the whereabouts of his descendents is not known.
Thomas Eley made a will on 23rd September 1880 and this was proved at Bristol on 20th May 1881. His estate was deemed to be worth less than £100. His executors were William Till, a Gentleman of Morton and his brother-in-law Samuel Laver Gould, a bailiff of East Pennard, Somerset. In his Will he says: ‘I devise all that my house and orchard and premises situate at Morton in the Parish of Thornbury aforesaid, now in the occupation of William Howell, and all my real estate situate in the Parish of Thornbury aforesaid and all my real estate whatsoever and wheresoever’ and then he goes on to make provision for his widow, Harriet Anne, and their son Thomas Joseph Laver Eley and the younger children.
Samuel Laver Gould, Harriett’s brother, was born in the first quarter of 1840 and married Amelia during the first quarter of 1868. In 1871 he was a Farm Bailiff at the Cottage, East Pennard. In the 1881 census the family was at Home Farm, East Pennard. Samuel L. Gould was described as a forty-one-year-old Farm Bailiff, born at Littleton; Amelia was thirty-six-years-old and born at Kingsweston; and their children included Ada Lizzie aged thirteen; Reginald aged eleven; Emma aged nine, William H. aged six. and Ernest aged five and all were born at East Pennard.
In the 1881 census return Harriet A. Eley was living at 44 Picton Street. She was described as a forty-three-year-old Cooper’s widow and born in Littleton, Somerset. Their children were J. T. Laver Eley aged seventeen and at school; Sarah A. Eley aged fourteen, a Domestic Servant, born in St Paul’s; William Eley aged ten years, a scholar, born in Horfield and Ernest Ed. Eley aged nine years, a scholar, born in Horfield.
In the 1891 census Harriet A. Eley was living at 98 Egerton Road, Horfield. She was described as aged fifty-three-years and born at Silveston (sp?), Somerset. Her sons were Thomas J. Laver, aged twenty-seven-years, a pianoforte tuner, born in Redcliffe; Wm. H.G. Eley, aged nineteen years, in the clicker shoe trade, and born in Horfield and Ernest Ed. Eley a blacksmith, born in Horfield.
A Harriett A. Eley died in the first quarter of 1897 in Cuckfield Registration District, Sussex aged fifty-eight-years.
On 11th December 1897 the Bristol Times and Mirror reported that Henry Anstey at the Full Moon Hotel would be selling the following properties. No 56 Egerton Street in the occupation of Mr W.H. Laver at £18 per annum. Lot 2 was 38 (check) Egerton Road, Bishopston, ‘recently occupied by Mrs Eley, deceased, now void.’
After 1891 Harriet Eley and her son William disappear from the records as does Edward Ernest and his family after1904.
Land Tax (?):
Thornbury 1871: Thomas Eley – Horfield 22-10-1 acres £3-1-5d
The Will of Thomas Eley:
This is the last will and testament of me Thomas Eley of No 44 Picton Street, Stokes Croft in the City and County of Bristol Cooper. I appoint William Till of Morton in the Parish of Thornbury in the County of Gloucester Gentleman and Samuel Laver Gould of East Pennard in the County of Somerset Bailiff to be trustees and executors of this my will. I devise all estates vested in me upon any trust or by way of mortgage unto my said trustees their heirs and assigns upon the trusts and subject to the equities affecting the same respectively I devise all that my house orchard and premises situate at Morton in the Parish of Thornbury aforesaid now in the occupation of William Howell and all my real estate situate in the Parish of Thornbury aforesaid and all other my real estate whatsoever and wheresoever of or to which I shall be seized or entitled at my decease and of which I shall have a disposing power by this my will to the use of my said trustees and their heirs during the life of Harriet Anne my wife. Upon trust to receive and take the rents and profits thereof and thereon to keep my messuages and buildings in proper repair and insured against loss or damage by fire and subject thereto. Upon trust to pay such rents and profits to my said wife during her life for her sole and separate use independent of any and every husband with whom she may intermarry and without power of anticipation she maintaining my unmarried children for the time being under the age of twenty one years. But if she shall fail to do so I authorize my said trustees in their discretion to detain and appropriate for the purpose so much of the said rents and profits as they shall think expedient and to pay the residue to my said wife for her sole and separate use as aforesaid. And I declare that her receipts notwithstanding coverture shall be sufficient discharges to my said trustees for so much of such rents and profits as in such receipts shall be expressed to be received and from and immediately after the decease of my said wife as to my said house orchard and premises at Morton I devise the same to the use of my said trustees their heirs and assigns. Upon trust to receive and take the rents and profits thereof to keep the same in proper repair and insured against loss or damage by fire and subject thereto upon trust to pay such rents and profits to my son Thomas Joseph Laver Eley and his assigns during his life …
I exempt every trustee of my will from liability for losses occurring without his own wilful default and especially from any loss which may happen to my said personal estate during the time the same shall be held by my said wife and authorize him to retain and allow to his co-trustee all expenses incidental to the trusteeship. And I appoint my said wife and the trustees for the time being of my will to be guardians of my children and issue as aforesaid during their minorities. Lastly I revoke all other wills. In witness whereof I have to this my last will and testament contained in this and the three preceding sheets of paper together annexed set my hand this twenty third day of September one thousand eight hundred and eighty.
Signed by the same Thomas Eley the testator as his last will and testament in the presence of us who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses H.J.M.C. Gwynn Solr. 3 All Saints Court, Bristol.
Robert Olive Clerk to Messrs. Gwynn Nunneley and Gwynn, Solrs. Bristol.
Proved at Bristol the twentieth day of May 1881 by the oath of Samuel Laver Gould one of the executors to whom administration was granted power being reserved of making the like grant of probate to William Till the other executor. The testator Thomas Eley was late of Number 44 Picton Street Stoke Croft in the City and County of Bristol cooper and died on the second day of April 1881 at 44 Picton Street aforesaid. Under £100.
Gwynn Nunneley Gwynn Solr. Bristol Certified to be an examined copy.
James Eley IV was born on 10th March 1836.
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