A tribute to the life and work of Brian Torode
There is a considerable amount of material on the Thornbury Roots Website and I am especially grateful to Chris Doig for his help with researching this family. Those interested in the life of Handal Cossham should consult ‘The Cossham Story’ by Susan Dean
Husband of Mary Robbins
Father of William Greenwood II
William Greenwood, Senior, was born in about 1713. He married Mary and in 1735 a marriage took place between a William Greenwood and Mary Robbins at St Michael’s Church in Bristol.
From Thornbury Roots Website:
William Greenwood and Mary (nee Robbins) – in 1728 to 1733 the Overseers Accounts show Mary Robbins liable for paying rates ‘for Ogbornes’ which we know to 13 High Street. We note that according to the IGI Mary ‘Robins’ married William Greenwood in St Michaels Church, Bristol in 1735 and that thereafter William was shown as the person paying the rates. We believe that property was the home of the Greenwood family from about 1735 onwards. The 1739 Poor Assessment listing shows William Greenwood as responsible for the poor rate describing the property as ‘for Ogbornes’.
Chris Doig. Thornbury Roots:
By the way, Richard, I’m now working on the property at 13 High Street, two doors down from The Swan. The home of your Greenwoods – I note your speculation that your William Greenwood may be the one who married Mary Robbins in 1735. I think you can be fairly certain that it was the same person because Mary Robbins had been living at the property of 13 High Street from 1726 to 1733. From 1735 William Greenwood was listed as owner and the Greenwoods continued to be listed right up to 1832, and thereafter it passed to Hannah Jenkins who I believe was a daughter (need to check my notes
ON 29th June 1743 their un-named child died and this is recorded in the register of the Quaker Meeting House in Thornbury.
A John Greenwood was buried on 2nd July 1743 at Thornbury and Ann Greenwood was buried on 10th October 1745 at Thornbury. Were these Children of William and Mary Greenwood?
They took their child William, the Younger, to Thornbury Parish Church for baptism on 29th December 1745. The register suggests that he was about ten years old.
William Greenwood I was Mayor of Thornbury from 1744-1746 and again in 1754/5.
William Greenwood I was buried at Thornbury on 6th June 1792 aged seventy-nine years.
Their grand-daughter, Elizabeth, the wife of James Eley of Thornbury, was baptised on 9th March 1763 at Thornbury with her sister Hannah. Her maternal grandfather was James Taylor of Morton and Oldbury and her paternal grandfather was William Greenwood, Senior.
Thornbury Roots: Land Tax 1780:
William Greenwood Senr William Greenwood Jnr £0 4 0
William Greenwood Junr ?? Rolph? £0 0 8
William Greenwood Jun James Taylor £0 3 0
See Thornbury Roots: 13 High Street, Thornbury and ‘William Greenwood, Baker’
Son of William Greenwood I and Mary (nee Robbins)
Husband of Mary Taylor
Father of Elizabeth Eley
Also Father of Hannah, Mary, Sarah Motley, William, William, John, Richard, James, Mary Shepherd and Martha
William Greenwood the Younger was baptised on 29th December 1745 and we are told in the Register at Thornbury that he was then aged ten-years. He was the son of William Greenwood, Senior and his wife, Mary.
William Greenwood II married Mary Taylor, the daughter of James Taylor of Morton and Oldbury. The date and place of the wedding is not known. William was a baker of Thornbury and he and his wife, Mary, had at least eleven children between 1763 and 1780. Five of their children died young and these included Mary aged six, William aged a month, Richard aged thirteen, James aged two, and Martha aged seven. At least four of them married.
On 5th March 1766 Thomas Hilcox was apprenticed to William Greenwood, baker of Thornbury.
UK Register of Duties Paid for Apprentices’ Indentures 1710-1811
|Master’s Name:||Wm Greenwood, Baker of Thornbury|
|Apprentice Name:||Thos Hilcox|
|Residence Location:||Thornbury Gloucester|
|Payment Date:||5 Mar 1766|
In 1775 William Greenwood the Younger purchased the Plough Inn in St Mary;s Street.
William Greenwood of the Borough died in April 1785 aged forty-six years. He was buried at Thornbury Parish Church with his children Mary, William and James, Martha and Richard.
‘In memory of William Greenwood of this Borough who died .. April 1785 aged 46 years. Also of Mary his daughter who died the 16 of August 1770 in her 7th year of her age. And likewise of William and James Greenwood, his sons, both died in infancy. Martha and Richard daughter and son aged 6.’
William Greenwood II died nineteen years before his widow made her will on 27th July 1804.
Thornbury Roots: Land Tax 1780:
William Greenwood Senr William Greenwood Jnr £0 4 0
William Greenwood Junr ?? Rolph? £0 0 8
William Greenwood Jun James Taylor £0 3 0
See Thornbury Roots: 13 High Street
See Thornbury Roots: The Plough, St Mary Street
See Thornbury Roots: 7 Castle Street
Daughter of James Taylor and Mary (nee Bradley)
Wife of William Greenwood II
Mother of Elizabeth Eley
Also Mother of Hannah, Mary, Sarah Motley, William, William, John, Richard, James, Mary Shepherd and Martha
Mary Taylor was baptised on 27th December 1738 at Thornbury. She was the second daughter of James Taylor, a yeoman of Morton and Elberton, and his wife Mary. Ann Taylor, the eldest daughter of James and Mary, was to marry James Eley II, my great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather in 1760.
Mary Taylor married William Greenwood II, a Baker of Thornbury and they had at least eleven children between 1763 and 1780. Five of their children died young and these included Mary aged six, William aged a month, Richard aged thirteen, James aged two, and Martha aged seven. At least four of them married.
Mary Greenwood out-lived her husband by nineteen years and she made a will on 27th July 1804.During the following year she must have died because the will was proved on 13th April 1805. Her daughter Elizabeth married her nephew, James Eley, in 1787.
The Will of Mary Greenwood:
‘This is the last Will and Testament of me Mary Greenwood of Thornbury in the County of Gloucester Widow and Relict of William Greenwood the Younger late of Thornbury aforesaid baker (?) deceased. I give and bequeath unto my two daughters Elizabeth Eley, Wife of James Eley and Mary Shepherd Wife of John Shepherd the Sum of seventy pounds each to be respectively paid them at the end of six calendar months at (?) after my decease in lieu of and in full and complete satisfaction and discharged of or for their several and respective part or share parts or shares claim or demand whatsoever … in all and singular the Goods Chattels and personal Estate of which my said late Husband died possessed of or intitled unto and which they respectively shall or may (?) not only by or under his last Will and Testament but as being one of the next of kin of my late daughter Martha and son Richard both deceased or in any other manner or right whatever become intitled unto on my death And as to all the rest of my Goods Chattels and personal Estate of every nature and kind I give the same subject to the payment of my funeral expenses and charges of proving this my will and my debts to my son William Greenwood and my daughters Hannah Greenwood and Sarah Greenwood equal between them and their respective Executors and Administrators And I appoint my said Son and Daughters William Greenwood, Hannah Greenwood and Sarah Greenwood to be joint Executor and Executrixes of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all former wills or testaments by me made In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty seventh day of July in the Year One thousand eight hundred and four. Mary Greenwood X her Mark
Signed Sealed published and declared by the testatrix the said Mary Greenwood as for her last will and testament in the presence of us and in her presence at her request in the presence of each other have hereunder subscribed our names as witnesses thereto. Geo Rolph Jos Longman
This Will was proved the 13th of April 1805 before the Revd Mr Rudge Pr Sur to the Worshipful Edward Cooke A.M. Vicar General Spirituals of the Right Rev Father in God George Isaac by Divine permission Lord Bishop of the Diocese of Gloucester and of his Episcopal Consistory to William Greenwood the son and executor (…received for the Executrixes).’
Daughter of William Greenwood and Mary (nee Taylor)
Wife of James Eley III
Mother of Thomas Eley
Also Mother of Martha, James, Selina, Ann, Elizabeth, Mary, James and James
Elizabeth Greenwood was baptised at Thornbury Parish Church on 9th March 1763 with her sister Hannah. She was the daughter of William Greenwood, a baker of Thornbury, and his wife Mary, the sister of Ann Eley the mother of her future husband, James Eley III. Elizabeth Greenwood was born in about 1763 and was baptised with her sister Hannah.
Elizabeth Eley’s maternal grandfather was James Taylor and her paternal grandfather was William Greenwood, Senior, who was buried at Thornbury on 6th June 1792 aged 79 years. His son, William the Younger was baptised at Thornbury on 29th December 1745 and we are told that he was then ten years old. He married Mary Taylor, the daughter of James Taylor of Morton and Oldbury, and they had at least eleven children. William Greenwood was a baker of Thornbury and died before his widow made her will on 27th July 1804.
This is a précis of the content of the will of her mother, Mary Greenwood, which was proved at Gloucester on 13th April 1805:
‘I give and bequeath unto my two daughters Elizabeth Eley, Wife of James Eley and Mary Shepherd, wife of John Shepherd, the sum of seventy pounds each to be respectively paid them at the end of six calendar months after my decease.’
On 19th April 1787 Elizabeth Greenwood married her cousin, James Eley III at Thornbury Parish Church. The witnesses were Mary Shepherd, John Shepherd, Sarah Melsom and Hanh. Greenwood. They had nine children who were born between 1788 and 1805. The eldest James died in 1794, aged four years and the middle James died in 1803, aged five months. Selina died in 1810, aged eighteen years, Mary died in 1822, aged twenty-one years and Ann died in 1823, aged twenty-seven years. Only the sons, James and Thomas were to marry. Martha and Elizabeth were to remain as spinsters, both trading in Thornbury.
Elizabeth Eley, widow of James Eley III, died on 16th July 1814 aged 51 years and was buried at Thornbury Baptist Church.
Hannah was baptised with Elizabeth on 9th March 1763 and was a spinster in 1804. She witnessed her sister’s marriage to James Eley on 19th April 1787. She received legacies from her mother’s will in 1805 and from the estate of her aunt, Elizabeth Lippiatt in 1800. She was alive in 1816.
Hannah Greenwood made her will on 6th April 1835. She appointed William Greenwood, her brother, and William Rolph, both gentlemen, her executors. She referred in the will to her brother William and also her niece Hannah wife of Thomas Jenkins, the daughter of William Greenwood, her brother.
The executors were appointed as trustees so that £80 could be set aside for the use of the children of her late niece Hannah, late wife of – Clarke, Blacksmith, who was before her marriage Hannah Shepherd.
Hannah Greenwood left the sum of £403-6-8d to be shared between her brother-in-law, John Shepherd and his daughters – Jane, Annis, Mary, Sarah and Elizabeth. The sum of £20 each was left to the three daughters of her brother John Greenwood – Mary the wife of James Bruton, Sarah and Elizabeth. John Greenwood, her brother, was left £423-6-8d. A legacy of £483-6-8d was also left to Martha and Elizabeth Eley to share between them.
The will was proved in London on 20th October 1835
Mary Greenwood was born on 4th August 1778 and baptised on 30th December 1778 at Thornbury Parish Church. She married John Shepherd by licence at Thornbury on 24th July 1797. The witnesses were Sarah Greenwood and Thomas Shepherd.
John Shepherd was born on 13th September 1770, the first child of John Shepherd, a yeoman of Eastwood and his wife Jane, nee Taylor. He was baptised at Thornbury Parish Church on 10th October 1770. His parents were married on 22nd August 1769 at Thornbury and the witnesses were James Taylor and Andrew Whitfield.
The Manor Court Rolls reveal that on 6th April 1809 John Shepherd, Malster, succeeded to the lands of his uncle Thomas Shepherd, late of Morton, yeoman. On 4th March 1813 John succeeded to the property of Jane Shepherd, late of Eastwood and then of Upper Morton, widow and relict of John Shepherd, late of Eastwood and then Upper Morton, yeoman. John was their only son and heir.
On 13th June 1816 the Manor Court recorded this alienation: Thomas Le Chevalier, of Wotton, a common brewer and William Joyner, late of Littleton-upon-Severn, and since of Olveston, but now of Aust in Henbury, Farmer. ‘Assigns appointed under and by virtue of a Commission of Bankrupt lately awarded and issued against John Shepherd of Morton in the Parish of Thornbury, Malster Dealer and Chapman, a Bankrupt and also bargainers of the said bankrupt for and in consideration of the sum of £86 of lawful money paid by James Eley of Thornbury aforesaid Linen Draper. Surrender all that close late of meadow or pasture land but now of arable land called Reed Elm…3 acres… at Morton’.
On 5th March 1818 John Shepherd of Morton, yeoman, and Mary his wife received £60 from John Tomkins of Brislington, Gent for one small close and paddock 1 ½ acres in a common called Fuller Mead.
On 23rd September 1819 John and Mary Shepherd received £220 for land surrendered to John Hignell
On 5th August 1830 James Eley, Gentleman received £100 from Benjamin Randall of Breadstone, yeoman, and £12 from John Shepherd, on mortgage for Reeds Elm – 3 acres and a messuage and dwelling house at Morton built by John Shepherd and occupied by John Shepherd since.
John Shepherd was a Maltster of Morton and he died on 4th November 1839 aged seventy years and was buried at Thornbury Baptist Church. Mary Shepherd died on 14th May 1834 aged fifty-seven-years and was buried at Thornbury Baptist Church. She was a beneficiary in her mother’s will and also in that of her aunt, Elizabeth Lippiatt.
John Shepherd and his five daughters, still alive, were beneficiaries from the estate of Hannah Greenwood who died in 1835. They received between them £403-6-8d. The children of Hannah Clarke, his late daughter, received £80 between them.
One of their daughters, Sarah Shepherd, was born on 9th March 1802 and registered at Wotton-under-Edge Baptist Church on 18th June 1802. She was a beneficiary from the estate of her aunt Hannah Greenwood in 1835. Sarah Shepherd married Jesse Cossham at St Mary’s Redcliffe, Bristol on 8th September 1823. He was the son of Richard Cossham (1748-1829).
Susan Dean, ‘The Cossham Story’, page 7:
‘Jesse Cossham 1799-1887: Jesse, the only son of Richard (Cossham) was born in the family home in Fore Street, Thornbury on 18th October 1799. There is no record of an infant baptism in Thornbury but he was baptised on 18th July 1819 at Thornbury Independent Chapel when nearly 20 years of age. He was the son and grandson of carpenters and he continued that trade, expanding to become a jobbing builder. He was probably baptised so that he could marry in church, which he did in the grand surroundings of St Mary Redcliffe in Bristol on 8th September 1823. His bride was Sarah Shepherd, born in 1802 to an old Thornbury family who lived at the Baths, along what was later called Old Bath Road, and whose father was a pillar of the town’s Baptist church.’
Their first child Handel was born at the family home in High Street, Thornbury on 31st March 1824, nowadays marked by a plaque commemorating the event. In the 1860’s Handel Cossham was a Bristol City Councillor for the St Paul’s Ward. From 1882 to 1885 he was Mayor of Bath and on 25th November 1885 he became MP for East Bristol.
Notes and Conclusions by Walter Eley written in November 1907:
‘From the facts mentioned in the above account of a tour by my grandfather James Eley of Thornbury, Gloucestershire, the following incidents are gathered. My grandfather died 6 December 1831, aged 69. … He had one brother, Thomas Eley. He named one of his sons Thomas and my father James. He had several sisters. One of them, Aunt Sarah, Coombe House, Wootton under Edge (sic), was unmarried. My father had some first cousins named Shepherd, Bruton, Foxwell, Cossham, etc. The inference is that these were children of my grandfather’s sisters.’
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