btsarnia

A tribute to the life and work of Brian Torode

James Eley, Saddler of Berkeley, and his descendents

ELEY FAMILY OF THORNBURY, LEOMINSTER AND BERKELEY


(?) James Eley (-1688) and Mary (-1686)

of Thornbury

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(?) James Eley (1644-1719) and Elizabeth (1650-1723)

of Thornbury

 

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James Eley I (1688–1754) and Elizabeth Morgan (–1747)

of Thornbury

 

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James Eley II (1736-1803) and Ann Taylor (-1799)

Exciseman of Ledbury, Leominster, Birmingham, Banbury etc

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James Eley III (1762-1831) and Elizabeth Greenwood (1763-1814)

Linendraper of Thornbury |

 

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James Eley (1805-1861) and Mary Ann Colenutt


 

JAMES ELEY, Great IV Uncle of Richard Barton

 

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Possibly a photograph of James Eley, Berkeley Saddler

James Eley was born on 31st October 1805 and registered on 7th December 1805 at Wotton Baptist Church. On 29th January 1829 he married Mary Ann Colenutt at St James’s Church, Bristol. She was born in about 1810. From about 1830 he became a Saddler of (15 &15a) Canonbury Street, Berkeley and a Member of the Berkeley Union Chapel and led the band before the organ was installed. The Union Church in Salter Street was opened in 1835 and was seen as an offshoot from Thornbury Baptist Church but also as an independent church. He was baptised at Thornbury Baptist Church on 20th January 1861 ‘from an independent church’ – presumably Berkeley Union Church.

In the 1841 census return he was listed as a Saddler of Canonbury Street, Berkeley. His wife Ann was aged thirty years and their children included Elizabeth aged ten years; James aged eight; Martha aged six; Mary aged four, Sarah aged two and Henry aged one year. Living with them was Joseph Bursher, an eighteen-year-old apprentice and Hannah Apply a seventeen-year-old female servant.

In 1851 they were again listed as residents of Canonbury Street, Berkeley. James was aged forty-five-years, A Saddler, born in Thornbury; Ann was aged forty-one and born at Forton, Hants; Elizabeth was a nine teen-year-old Milliner; James an eighteen-year-old Saddler’s Apprentice; Martha aged sixteen; Mary aged fourteen; Sarah aged twelve, Henry a ten-year-old scholar; Edward a nine-year-old scholar; Walter a seven-year-old scholar; Alice a five-year-old scholar, Emily G. a three-year-old scholar and finally one-year-old Fanny, an infant. All the children were born in Berkeley.

Ten years later in 1861 James was described as a fifty-five-year-old Saddler and Harness Maker, born in Thornbury, and living at Canonbury Street. His wife Ann was aged fifty-one-years and a native of Gosport, Hants; Henry, aged twenty, was also a Saddler and Harness Maker; Edward was a nineteen-year-old Cooper; Walter a seventeen-year-old Harness Maker; Alice was aged fifteen; Emily a thirteen-year-old Scholar and Fanny an eleven-year-old Scholar. All the children were shown as natives of Berkeley. Staying with them was Alice M. Bennett, a three-year-old grandchild, born in Dalston, Middlesex.

His will was made on 3rd July 1861 and he died on 3rd September 1861. He was buried at Thornbury Baptist Church and his estate was proved at less than £450. The Bristol Mercury for 7th September 1861 reported: ‘September 3, at Berkeley, aged 57 years, Mr. James Eley, deeply regretted’.

His widow, Mary Ann, remained in Berkeley living in the High Street, after her husband died In 1871, at the age of sixty-one-years, she was staying with her eldest son James, at Ryde on the Isle of Wight. She was described as a Widow with ‘Houses’ and a native of Forton. Later she moved with her youngest daughter to Bristol where she died on 19th (or 18th?) July 1877. Her mortal remains were taken to Thornbury Baptist Church for burial. The Eley saddlery business continued in Canonbury Street until about 1867.

James Eley was a beneficiary from the wills of his Aunts Martha Eley and Elizabeth Eley which were both proved in 1850. The Account Books of Richard Scarlett, Attorney of Thornbury, give us the following details:

Midsummer 1850 From George Rice for half yearly rent and house and premises at Thornbury £5-10s Paid to James Eley on October 7th £5-10s by cash.

September 29th 1850 From James Vaughan for house and shop £9 Paid to James Eley on October 29th.

Land Tax (?) Thornbury 1871: Mrs Eley – Ryde 8-0-8 acres £1-3-5d

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Text on Copper Plate:

 

Berkeley Hunt J. Eley Saddler, Collar & Harness Maker, Berkeley, Chariot & Gig Harness, made in the newest style. Hunting Spurs &c. Horses measured  & carefully fitted.’

In the 1851 census return James Eley was described as a Saddler of Canonbury who had been born in Thornbury. His wife was aged forty-one and came from Hampshire. Elizabeth, their eldest, was a nineteen-year-old milliner. She lived at home and was born in Berkeley. James their eldest son was described as an eighteen-year-old Saddler’s apprentice, who, like all the children, was born in Berkeley. Martha was eighteen, Mary aged fourteen, Sarah A. aged twelve, Henry aged ten, Edward aged nine, Walter aged seven, Alice aged five, Emily G. aged three and Fanny, the infant, aged one. Henry and they younger children were all described as scholars.

‘An Account of a Meeting of the Four Eley Brothers in Gloucestershire on 17, 18, 19 September 1900’by the Youngest, Walter Eley’:

 

Chapter One Family History

 

We were 12 children in family, Father and Mother made us to number 14. There were 7 girls and 5 boys. Only on one occasion did we all sit down to a Christmas dinner, that was the Christmas of 1852. Our youngest brother Lewis George, and the youngest of the family, died on the following 1 march 1853, only 19 months old. We buried him in the Baptist Chapel graveyard in Thornbury, where our Grandfather, Grandmother, Uncles and Aunts, and later on our Father and Mother and Sister Alice all now lie.

I can remember seeing Father, standing at the half glass shop door one evening, crying over his loss, although there were 11 of us left, enough one would think fully to occupy a father’s love. Father was of a very affectionate disposition. I can remember my eldest sister coming home one Christmas with her eldest daughter, a baby about 18 months old, and how father and daughter fell on each other’s necks in a long, loving embrace. I was only a little chap at the time but it made a deep impression on my memory. I can call to mind the affectionate welcome my eldest brother and sisters used to get when they came home for their holidays or a visit.

Father and Mother always did their best for us all. We were a large family to bring up, clothe, feed, educate and put out into the world. I can remember they were especially kind to those who were weak and ill. It was my good fortune to be a strong, hearty, lusty fellow needing no special care, always in good health and strength. But it was not so with my brother Henry who was a weak and delicate boy needing much care and attention. Father used to carry him downstairs every morning and to bed every evening with such affection and love, for months and even years, doing everything that was possible for his weakly boy. I can remember having a clout many a time as I came in and out of the house, when my brother was ill, for banging the doors, and so Father did for us all when we needed it.

Father was a native of Thornbury, where Grandfather, Grandmother, our Aunts Elizabeth and Martha and Uncle Thomas lived. I have heard Father say he could just remember his mother, she having died when he was about 9 years old, to quote the date taken from her grave in Thornbury Baptist Chapel graveyard 16 July 1814 aged 51.

Father was born 31 October 1805. Our grandfather occupied a good position in Thornbury, being Clerk to the Magistrates. I have heard Thornbury people say he was a highly respectable and amiable gentleman, esteemed and revered by all who knew him, his name up to the present day (1902) being held in great veneration in that town.

Grandfather was a Baptist of the old Puritan school, and as such the chief supporter of the Baptist Chapel there, often conducting the services when needed, and I for one am proud to be the grandson of such a good man. He lies buried with my grandmother and all my paternal aunts and uncles in the graveyard of the chapel, having passed away 6 December 1831, aged 69 years, leaving a name the memory of which is fragrant now in 1900.

Father settled in business in Berkeley about 7 miles from Thornbury, and Mother came to Berkeley from Horton, near Gosport, Hampshire, to live with her aunt Webster whose husband had taken a contract to make part of the Berkeley and Gloucester canal. I heard a minister, the Rev. M.Eyre (who was once the Pastor of Thornbury Baptist Chapel), say that Mother was one of the nicest looking women in Gloucestershire, and I can remember how fond and proud Father was of her, especially when she was nicely dressed. Yes, my Mother was a good-looking woman.

Father and Mother were married in St James’ Church, Bristol, on 29th January 1829. In those days everybody had to be married in the established Church – that being the reason why my Father and Mother being non-conformists were married at Church.

They returned and settled in Berkeley where we were all born. I always understood that Grandfather bought the house where we lived for my Father. Anyhow, it was my Father’s property. Dear old house and garden – I shall never forget it.

I have heard say that Grandfather only saw one of his grandchildren and that was my eldest sister Elizabeth. She was born on Good Friday, 1 April 1831. Grandfather died on the following 6 December. It is a curious circumstance that Good Friday has not fallen on 1st April since.

I have heard Thornbury people say that my Grandmother was a well born and bred woman and from her some of inherit some family peculiarities. These peculiarities are well defined and known as the Eley nose, the Eley hair and the Eley stare. The said Eley nose being aquiline, the Eley hair being dark and straight, and the peculiar some of us look at people proves the Eley stare.

I suppose large families were fashionable in those days, at all events we were a large family and these are the names of us all:

Elizabeth born 1 April 1831 married Joseph Bennett

James born 11 February 1833 married Fanny A Campling

Martha born 31 October 1834 married Oliver G. Marling

Mary born 6 September 1836 married Walford Durrant

Sarah Ann born 19 July 1838 married George Chesterfield

Henry born 18 April 1840 married Harriet Collins

Edward born 25 November 1841 married Mary Yeatman

Walter born 21 November 1843 married Rebecca Randle and then Alice Weston Sanders

Alice born 13 March 1846 and died when she was 19 years old

Emily Grace born 5 January 1848 married George Greening

Fanny born 25 October 1849 married Henry Dearlove

Lewis George born August 1851 and died when 19 months old

There is little peculiarity in us as a family – first was a girl, then a boy, then 3 girls, then 3 boys, then 3 girls, and then a boy.

Father was not a strong man by any means and his sedentary habits did not improve his health. I can remember him as a delicate man needing care and attention in every way. In 1860 his health began to fail him. He went to the Isle of Wight that year to recruit his failing strength but he came home little or no better. Then followed in the ensuing spring and summer a long illness of some months duration, culminating in his death just after 2 o’clock on the afternoon of 3 September 1861. We buried him with his father, mother and sisters in the Baptist Chapel graveyard, Thornbury. I was only a lad of 16 at the time but I remember him as a good, kind father doing his best for his large family, and his children rise up and call him blessed.

It has always been a source of satisfaction to me that I did my best for him during his long illness. Often sleeping in his room to minister to his wants at night, giving mother a rest. Dear old Dad. I can remember the evening of his death going to the top of the garden, having a good cry and resolving I would do my best and work for mother.

There was little or no scope for us girls and boys in Berkeley as we grew up – one after another left that olde wolde town to push our way in to the world in various places. As a boy I remember very little of my eldest sister and brother for they were grown up and gone from home before I can scarce remember, thus relieving father and mother of part of their heavy family burden. But I can well remember their coming home at Christmas and other times and exciting my boyish admiration, and I can remember wishing and longing for the time when I should be old enough to go and find a niche in the great world outside, for Berkeley was, and I suppose still is, a veritable sleepy hollow.

My sister was the only one who stayed at home in Berkeley. Mattie, as we affectionately called her, helped mother with cooking, washing, cleaning, baking and helping mother with us younger children. What delicious home baked bread and cakes we used to have. They are a memory not forgotten as a boy, yea even as a man. I was, and am, very fond of dumplings. It was a standing joke against me coming home from Chapel one Sunday morning, sliding up to her in the kitchen with a smile and knowing look, asked “Mattie, got a dump?” Aye, Martha had a dump and uncommon good they were then and since, as all of us can testify.

Elizabeth settled in London, James in Ryde, Mary in London, Sarah in Greenwich, Henry in Bristol, Edward in Burton on Trent, myself in London, Emily Grace in Clifton, Fanny in London, Alice died when she was only 19, and Lewis George when 19 months. Since then Mary and Sarah Ann have passed away, leaving 8 of us to this date – 1902.’

 

The remainder of this follows under Walter Eley

 

Extracts from ‘The Way I Came’ by Kenneth Marling:

 

‘James of Berkeley, the older surviving son, set up in business at Berkeley as a saddler, drawing much of his trade from members of the Berkeley Hunt, which worked over a very large area. In the time of the 5th Earl they hunted from their own district to Charing Cross, but later the Hunt was split, one section covering the London end and the other the local one. James figured the Hunt on his trade plate, from which a “pull-off” is shown, made from the copper plate given to me in the Isle of Wight in 1971, 110 years after James died.

I understood from my father that in common with others supplying goods or services to the Castle, James was free to take supper there when he wished. On 29th January 1829 James married Ann Colenutt at St James’ Church, Bristol. I have never understood how the two came to meet, or why Ann, while still under age, came to be married so far from home. There is no clue as to why Ann came to Bristol, but St James’ is one of the oldest churches there, and nearby are accommodation houses, used by folk intending marriage to acquire residential qualification.

(handwritten addition to the working copy) The diary of 1900 recording the visit to the area by the four Eley brothers discloses that she accompanied her aunt to Berkeley, where her uncle was engaged on the construction of the Gloucester and Berkeley Canal.

James and Ann had five sons and seven daughters, of whom I have photographs of all but Alice, and Lewis George who died in infancy.

James became a member of Berkeley Union Chapel, and conductor of their String Band. He died in 1861 and was buried with the others in the Thornbury Burying Ground on 3 September.’

And…

 

‘The marriage of Abraham Colenutt of Niton with Mary Smyth in 1735 linked all these old Island (Isle of Wight) families. Their son, Thomas, married into another old Island family, the Legges, and with his family came a change from the rural squires and yeomen for their son, Abraham of Forton, who married Mary Knight of Newport, became an innkeeper, and moved to the mainland between 1806 and 1808 where they kept the Queen Charlotte Inn on the busy Forton Road at Gosport. He had Legge cousins living near Forton, which may have accounted for the move. When they returned to the Island is not known, but Abraham was buried at Ryde in 1840, and their family were all established in the Island…

Mary Knight, who married Abraham Colenutt in 1804, was a confirmed Baptist, and of her children, Richard became a Congregationalist, Henry a Baptist, while Ann married James Eley, also a Baptist. The Eleys were predominantly Nonconformist.

Abraham (Colenutt)’s children became involved in trade, and the old connections were over.

Abraham Colenutt of Forton (1779-1840) was the first of the family to be involved in business activities. His father apparently farmed in a small way at Niton, and Abraham would have helped him as a young man. It seems that he moved to Newport to better his prospects, and there he married Mary Knight when 25. He was no doubt accustomed to handling horses, and in his late 20’s he set up as Innkeeper on the busy Forton Road at Gosport, in the ‘Queen Charlotte Inn’, which was probably a posting house.

His children had no rural upbringing, and his sons, Charles and Richard (Colenutt), went into business in Ryde.

Richard had been trained to be a teacher, but Charles had opened a wine shop in Union Street, which prospered, and Richard followed suit by opening an independent provision merchant’s business next door.

Ryde was probably chosen as it was developing rapidly with the advent of Osborne House, and the influx of new residents. Both businesses did well, and the brothers became involved in local affairs – Charles was Mayor in 1879, 1880 and 1883, while Richard was Mayor in 1887 and 1888.

Both Richard (Colenutt) and his wife, Sarah Fabian Clay, were widely read, and often entertained the writer “Mark Rutherford”. When Lord Tennyson learnt that Richard (Colenutt) had learnt by heart his poem “In Memoriam” he sent Richard a bound, autographed copy.

Their sister, Ann (Colenutt), had married James Eley of Berkeley, Gloucestershire, who had a saddlery business there, no doubt largely dependent upon the posting trade and the Berkeley Hunt members. James died in 1861. The coming of the railways foreshadowed the decline of horse-drawn transport and although his son, Henry (Eley) carried the business on for a while, by 1871 he was described as a saddler of Cotham, Bristol. Meanwhile, his elder brother (also James) no doubt learning from his mother of the growing prospects in Ryde opened a saddlery shop there next door to his uncle’s shop in Union Street, in 1859. He sold it in 1904, and in 1971 we found it virtually unaltered, with original showcases and fittings intact. The then owner gave me the copper plate from which James of Berkeley had his trade cards printed, some 150 years ago. His father had found it in the shop and thought it too good to discard. A pull off is shown. Alas, on our last visit in 1979 we found the shop gutted and modern shelving installed.’

Extracts from the Reminiscences of Frank George Marling:

‘We drove in a dog cart driven by my Uncle Henry, who had taken over the saddlery business formerly carried out by my Grandfather (his father, James Eley) in Canonbury Street.’

‘Thomas Woolwright lived in a large house in Salter Street. He was very deaf, and after he had gone to bed, if one listened outside his house, you could hear him shouting out to his housekeeper who slept in the next room. At one time he played the violincello in the Berkeley Union Chapel Band, in which my father also played piccolo or violin, and of which my grandfather, James Eley, was leader. The band was superseded by an American organ before my time’

‘I stayed at school until I was fourteen and a half. I well remember the day I left, it was quite unexpected. It was 18 July 1877. I left home that morning as usual, going up to Berkeley by the train about 8.00am. During the interval between morning and afternoon school a message reached me that I was to go home. When I got home I was told that my Grandmother Eley, in Bristol, had died after a short illness and that my Mother had gone there. Father went down for the funeral and I stayed home to help. It was a busy time in the office and I was useful delivering telegrams, etc, and it was decided that I should not go back to school. /I was very grieved about my Grandmother’s death. After Grandfather Eley died (before I was born), she continued to live in Berkeley for a time. I remember going to see her in a house in the High Street. Then, when I was quite small, she and my youngest aunt, Aunt Fanny, went to live in Bristol, and on several occasions I went to stay with them. I enjoyed this very much, and used to roam about the City by myself. At other times going with Grandma to call on Uncle Edward or Aunt Emily (Mrs. Greening) who also lived in Bristol at that time.’

Extract from ‘Berkeley – a Town in the Marshes’ by David Tandy 2005:

‘No 15 and 15a Canonbury Street

A premises that was a saddlery and gentleman’s outfitters. James, Henry and Walter Eley 1830-1867 harness and saddle makers. No 15 and 15a are shown to be plot 109 on the 1840 tithe map, as a shop, house and yard, then held by James Eley, Saddler and Harness Maker. Arthur Rodway 1881 saddler’

Neil Ghosley in 1989:

‘…What intrigued me was the name Webster and the reference to work on the canal. My great-great-great grandfather, James Tucker Ghostley, had a brother John who in later years called himself John Ghostley Drinkwater (Drinkwater being a maternal family name). This John, born in 1771, married in 1793/4 but his wife died in 1795; he died in 1827 and in his will mentioned his wife Frances. His tombstone in Berkeley churchyard records his wife Fanny, wife of Swan Webster of Berkeley, died 4th July 1845 aged 68 years.

I had never had details of the marriage of John and Fanny and didn’t know her surname before marriage or anything else about her. However, I did know that the name Webster only ever occurred in the Berkeley Parish Registers in connection with Fanny. I also knew that the Ghostley family were stonemasons by trade, that John Ghostley Drinkwater was a mason and that, according to the inventory to his will of 1827, he owned a brickyard and 30,000 bricks.

I therefore postulated that the girl Ann (I did not at the time know her maiden name), who came to Berkeley from Hampshire to live with her aunt Webster, was in fact initially living with her aunt Drinkwater who became Webster sometime after the death of her stonemason and canal-building husband. I worked out that Ann must have been born around 1810, so she would have been about 17 when John Ghostley Drinkwater died in 1827 and about 19 when she married James Eley in 1829. For most of her life she would have known Frances as her aunt Webster, married to Swan Webster who was a publican and never, as far as I know, connected with a canal building trade.

So if Frances was Ann’s aunt, and Ann came from the Gosport area, it was possible that Frances did too. On searching the IGI for Hants I found two marriages for John Ghostley Drinkwater, the first in 1810 at Portsmouth and the second , in 1816, at Alverstoke, to Frances Knight Dubourg. The Colenutt family album revealed that Ann’s mother was Mary Knight, born in 1786; Mary’s sister Frances therefore must have married a Dubourg before she married John Ghostley Drinkwater. John Ghostley Drinkwater of the Parish of Alvestoke and Frances Knight Dubourg of this parish married in this church by licence with consent of Abraham Colenutt 3rd October 1816. Both parties signed in the presence of Abraham Colenutt, Mary Colenutt and Rhoda (?) colenutt.

As a result of this Alverstoke marriage Frances apparently accompanied her husband to Berkeley, which explains how her niece Ann came to be staying in the town in the 1820s, when she met her future husband, James Eley…

From the Portsmouth St Thomas marriage register of 1810 I discovered that John Ghostley Drinkwater was described as ‘of H.M.S. Caledonia’. This was the first I knew of any naval connection… Thus my ancestor’s entry into the Navy during the Napoleonic War led to his marriage to Frances at Alverstoke in 1816 and the subsequent marriage of Ann Colenutt to James Eley.’

 

Ken Marling: Holiday notes May 1969:

 

‘During a recent holiday in the Isle of Wight, we made enquiries about the Colenutts – my great grandmother being Ann Colenutt of Ryde.

We first went to the Town Hall there, and saw portraits of Charles and Richard Colenutt, brothers of Ann, who were Mayors of Ryde in 1879, 1880, 1883 and 1887, 1888 respectively. We then called at the shop they started in Union Street in 1843 at 46-48 as grocers and wine and spirit merchants. None of the family now remained in it; the wine and spirit side have been sold off, and the grocery business is continued at 47-48 by a Company as “Colenutt”.

We then called at a saddlery shop next door in No. 49, which appeared to be long established, and in conversation with the owner, Mr Talbot, found that his father had purchased the business in 1904 from the founder – James Eley!

This was the eldest son of James Eley, the Saddler of Berkeley, and he had doubtless been taught the trade by his father there. At that time the new railways were taking the posting trade from the country towns and the prospect in Berkeley was probably not too good. On the other hand, with the establishment of Queen Victoria’s country home at Osborne, not far away from Ryde, the prospect of a growing business was no doubt much better there, and with her brothers well established in business in the main street of Ryde, Ann probably encouraged her son to set up there next door to her two brothers, and he opened his shop in 1859, when he was 26.

James Eley, the saddler of Berkeley, died in 1861, but no mention of his former shop is made in my father’s reminiscences of Berkeley, although he refers to places he remembers from about 1866, and it is possible that he gave up the business some little time before his death. The business was not carried out by his son, James, who opened his shop in Ryde in 1859. I have found a note by father that Henry carried on at Berkeley for a while. A deed of 1871 describes him as a Saddler of Cotham, but in 1883 father says he was a saddler in Colston Street, Bristol.

James’ widow, Ann Colenutt, continued to live in Berkeley for some time after his death, and my father remembers going to her house in High Street. He records in his notes that early in the summer of 1867 she had to go to Thornbury to see her solicitor on some business connected with her late husband’s estate, but later went with her youngest daughter, Fanny Dearlove, to live in Bristol, and he records being fetched from school as his mother had been summoned to that city when her mother died in 1877. A letter from Oliver George Marling to his son Allan on March 19th 1874 while he was staying with an aunt in Bristol, enquires about Grandma, Aunt Fanny and others and is addressed to Wickselm Cottage, Berkeley Road, Horfield, Bristol. This seems to be where Ann was then living, and possibly she was buried near.

Mr Talbot gave me the copper plate from which James of Berkeley had his trade cards printed. It depicts hunters and hounds of the Berkeley Hunt above his name and inscription, and would be about 140 years old (1829c). It was obviously brought to Ryde by his son, James, and given by him to Talbot’s father when he bought the business, and preserved by his son as too good to destroy when he cleared out items on his father’s death. It is curious that Henry Eley did not keep this.

James of Ryde was clearly quite a character as the present Talbot well remembers the tales his father told him about James. Talbot was very amused to read in the minutes of the Ryde Bird Show and Local Sports that James, one Munt, an antique dealer, and Blake, a vet, held the various offices in the society and took each in turn – and an honorarium that went with them!

We found in the records of the Ryde Baptist Church that Henry Colenutt was Sunday School Superintendent in 1856, and as he wrote inviting a Rev. S. cox to become minister in November 1855 was probably Church Secretary then.

In a list of members on the reformation of Christ Church Baptist Church, Ryde, on March 4th 1866, Mary, Henry, Elizabeth and Emily Grace were included. Henry was deacon on 1st April 1868 and retired from office on 6th April 1870. All but Mary were removed from the roll on 28th November 1872 with others, for removal or non-attendance.

Walter Eley was a member on 31st July 1887 and removed to the Church at the Literary Institute, Ventnor. This was probably the brother of James, and he was a corsetiere and had three wives! A Mrs Eley (late Miss Randle) was dismissed to the Church under Mr Wilkinson at Ventnor on 3rd November 1869.

We later called to see Mr Richard Colenutt, of Thalassa, Castle Road, Ventnor. He is a grandson of Ann’s brother Richard, who was Mayor of Ryde… For some three and a half centuries the Colenutt family lived mainly in the Isle of Wight, at Arreton, Gatcombe, Newchurch, Godshill, Whitwell and Niton. Ann’s father Abraham Colenutt went to Forton, Gosport, but returned to the Island. Many of the family are still there.

It is curious that Ann Colenutt was married from St James’ Church, Bristol, and not from her home. A note of the marriage and her children was left by my great uncle Edward, with dates of birth and death – except his own, and that of Elizabeth and Mary. Several of the children returned to Bristol, as did Ann after her husband died. I have noticed since typing the previous sheet that Ann was buried in Thornbury Baptist Burying Ground, after her death in Bristol. She was born at Gosport and was baptised at Gosport Chapel. Her mother returned to Ryde, where Charles and Richard Colenutt were then in business, on her husband’s death in 1840 and died in 1877.

Ann Eley’s mother, Mary Colenutt, nee Knight, of Newport, Isle of Wight, was born in 1786, and a photo marked “Grandma Colenutt, Oct 21st 1871” which I had taken to be of Ann, is in fact of Mary on her eighty-fifth birthday (or two days later), as Richard Colenutt showed me others taken at that time and clearly marked as Mary.

From a telephone call made to the only Meader in the Island, we met the widow of Henry Meader’s son, William Campling Meader, and Mrs Jones, who is a sister of the Annette shown as a girl of about nine years in the photograph of the four generations which was taken in about 1901. They were grandchildren of James Eley of Ryde, their great grandmothers, both paternal and maternal, being Ann Colenutt. This came about as James Eley’s mother was Ann Colenutt referred to above, while his wife’s mother, nee Ann Taylor, married one Campling, and then Charles Colenutt, Ann’s brother. James’s wife, Fanny was Campling’s daughter.

Mrs Jones showed us Ann (Campling)’s wedding bonnet and those of her bridesmaids; a hot cross bun bought on the Good Friday in 1815 on which she was born, with a tea caddy her father brought home from India at that time, and in which it was kept for many years before being placed in a glass case. It is a bit moth eaten (or rather grub eaten), but was shown on T.V. on its 150th anniversary. She also showed us samplers made by Ann Taylor and her mother.

We subsequently visited several of the places where the Colenuut (or Colenut or Colnett, the spelling varies over the years) family had lived…’

See Thornbury Roots: 1 and 2 The Plain, Thornbury – Eley Family

Both Martha and Elizabeth died in 1850, Martha on 9th January aged 63 and Elizabeth on 1st March 1850 aged 52.  In Martha’s will she left the houses for the use of her sister, Elizabeth, but after her death they were to be left to her brother James who is shown in the photo on the left.

James (junior) became a saddler.  In 1829, James had married a lady called Ann who was born in Horton in Hampshire.  They had settled to live in Canonbury Street, Berkeley where they had a large family of 12 children.  They appeared to keep the ownership of the two houses in Thornbury and rented them out.  The Rate Book of 1876 (the first Rate Book we have showing both owners and occupiers) shows that the two houses were owned by ‘Mrs Eley’, James having died in 1861.  The 1871 census shows Ann was living with her son, James, in Ryde, Isle of Wight.  By the 1878 Rate Book the houses had been sold.


 

Extract from ‘The Way I Came’ by Kenneth Marling:

 

‘The sons kept in close touch, and made several tours together – this generation, fortunately for us, was photographically minded and among many prints left to us are groups of Henry, Walter, James and Edward, inscribed as “a memento of a visit to Gloucestershire, when they met at Bristol and visited also Clifton, Thornbury, Moreton, Tortworth, Berkeley, Sharpness, etc, together 17 September 1900.” (A Journal also exists of this visit.)’



  1. ELIZABETH BENNETT, cousin of James Eley IV

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Elizabeth was born at Berkeley on 1st April 1831 and baptised on 12th April 1848. In the 1851 census return she was at home and was described as a nineteen-year-old Milliner, born in Berkeley. She married Joseph Bennett who was born on 19th November 1831. He was a member of the Berkeley Chapel String Band. Joseph and Elizabeth settled in London. They probably married in about 1856 (?)

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Joseph Bennett was born in Berkeley on 29th November 1831 and died there on 12th June 1911. He was an English Music Critic and his work centred upon the Daily Telegraph although he contributed to other papers and edited two music journals. He wrote several books including ‘Forty Years of Music’ written in 1905.

In the 1841 census return for Canonbury Street, Berkeley, John Bennett, a forty-eight-year-old labourer was living there with his wife Hannah and their children. These included nine-year-old Joseph. This Joseph was baptised at Berkeley Parish Church on 4th December 1831 and it was he who probably became Elizabeth’s husband.

At the time of the 1861 census their daughter, Alice M. Bennett, aged three years, was staying with her grandparents at Berkeley. She was listed as born at Dalston, Middlesex.

In the 1871 census return Joseph Bennett was living at 3 Melina Place. He was described as a thirty-nine-year-old Journalist of Music, born in Berkeley. His wife, Elizabeth, was aged forty-years, and born in Berkeley. Their children were Emily, aged fourteen years and born in Islington; Alice aged twelve years and born in Shoreditch and Herbert J. Bennett aged seven years and born in Hackney. They had a servant.

Whilst in his position as Music Critic for the Telegraph Joseph Bennett wrote to Oliver George Marling, his brother-in-law, offering to get him a good piano, price £32, but to him (Joseph) £28, payable over three years at £2 6s 8d per quarter. This was in January 1877.

In the 1881 census return Joseph Bennett and family were living at 106 Haverstock Hill, London. He was described as a forty-nine-year-old journalist born in Berkeley. Elizabeth was aged fifty years and their children were Alice, aged twenty-three-years, born in Shoreditch; Edith, aged twenty years and born in Shoreditch and eighteen-year-old Madeline born in Shoreditch. They had a cook and a house maid.

In 1891 Joseph and his family were living at Hill Side, Littleworth, near Amberley in Gloucestershire. He was described as fifty-nine-years and born in Berkeley, a journalist and author. Elizabeth was sixty and visiting them was Eliza Kippel, a thirty-five-year-old music teacher born in Finsbury.

In the 1901 census return Joseph was living at 109 Finchley Road, London. He was now sixty-nine-years-old and Elizabeth was the same age. Their thirty-five-year-old daughter Edith was with them. She was born in Hackney. There were also two servants in the house.

Joseph Bennett died on 12th June 1911.

Paul Howath – ‘Sullivan’s Incidental Music to Shakespeare’s ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’

 

‘Sullivan composed his incidental music to Shakespeare’s ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ for a revival of the play which opened on the 19 December 1874 at John Hollingshead’s Gaiety Theatre, London – the same theatre where Gilbert and Sullivan’s first collaboration, ‘Thespis,’ had been the Christmas entertainment three years previously…

In a long letter to Joseph Bennett, who was a friend of Sullivan’s and the music critic of The Daily Telegraph, dated 17 December, Sullivan wrote:

‘I was rather dismayed when I first got the commission to do ‘The Merry Wives’ for I could see no opportunity for music. However in the last act I have been able to do a little, and I hope it will be bright.

…All the music is new, but (and this is not necessarily for publication) if you remember a ballet called ‘L’ile enchantee’ which I wrote for the Italian Opera, Covent Garden, many years ago, you will recognize two themes, the first in the Prelude and the second in the scene between Anne Page and the children. I wouldn’t write any overture because I didn’t care about competing with the very pretty one of Nicolai. Your masterly judgement, my dear Joseph, will at once enable you to see that the fairies are not real fairies (if such exist) but only flesh and blood imitations. I have endeavoured to indicate this, and have not written music of the same character as I wrote for the ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’, or that Mendelssohn wrote for the 3rd Act of the ‘Tempest’. I have only had 3 weeks to do the whole thing in, but I don’t think you will find it scamped…’

Anthony Boden – ‘The Parrys of the Golden Vale’ 1998, P.200: Hubert Parry’s Symphony in G – first performance 31st August 1882

 

Hubert was loudly applauded as he stepped down from the rostrum, and although remaining convinced that most of the enthusiasm had been ‘evoked by the good nature of the steward and my friends’, he was

Especially moved by the approbation of old Sir Julius Benedict who ‘after all, was the pupil and familiar of Weber, and often saw Beethoven and Schubert in the flesh’ (Benedict was also Cowan’s teacher). The best Germans in the band were equally kind; Gounod ‘buttered’ him to the utmost, though not very acceptably; Stainer, Hueffer (of The Times (and a supporter of Cowen)) and Prout (of the Athenaeum) were all very encouraging, and the great Mr. Joseph Bennett of the Telegraph came up and said ‘I didn’t believe in you before, but I do now. You have converted me’.

The New York Times – September 24, 1891:

 

‘“The Repentance of Nineveh” – A Disappointing Day at the Worcester Music Festival. Worcester, Mass. Sept 23. – The results of the second day of the music festival at his place have been disappointing. This is simply explained. The principal interest of the day centred in the production of “The Repentance of Nineveh,” the dramatic oratorio written by Dr. J. Frederick Bridges, organist of Westminster Abbey, for last year’s festival at Worcester, England. Much was expected, but little was received.

The work is a notable specimen of English industry and learning, together with that total lack of melodic invention which characterizes contemporaneous choral writings in the tight little island. But perhaps it would be as well first to say a word or two about the book. The author of it is Mr. Joseph Bennett, a distinguished anti-Wagnerite musical critic and operatic librettist. He is distinguished in England. This is a distinction with a difference. The book on Jonah is one of the shortest in the Bible and perhaps its most dramatic episode is the temporary restriction of Jonah’s activity within the confines of a whale. Mr. Bennett remembers the difficulties which Wagner had with the dragon and omitted the whale, probably to the great relief of Dr. Bridges, who would undoubtedly have had great difficulty in embodying the Behemoth in tones. Dr. Bridges was not afraid to compose a theme to represent Jonah’s gourd, but a gourd is a small and inoffensive product of the earth. It did not swallow Jonah. The whale did, and he might have swallowed the unhappy composer.

The scheme of Mr. Bennett’s book is boldly simple. The King comes home from a war and is feeling rather happy, when Jonah prophesies that the city will be destroyed in forty days. The prophet is threatened with death, but the King’s daughter, a product of Mr. Bennett’s weird fancy, intercedes for him. Jonah goes away and reposes in the shadow of his gourd. Thirty-nine-days have passed and Nineveh has not been destroyed. The gourd withers and Jonah objects in a minor key. The voice of the Lord in four parts reproaches him. The next scene shows the royal family and the people of Nineveh assembled before the palace on the fortieth day. All are frightened, except the Queen. There is a thunderstorm. Every one cries for mercy, and then Jonah proclaims that the Lord is long-suffering, after which all join in a hymn of praise and the oratorio ends.

And that is what Mr. Joseph Bennett fondly imagines is matter for a dramatic oratorio. Perhaps more space has already been given to this prosy work than it deserves, but it must be added that the music is worthy of the book. It is like the earth before the creation without form and void. It is like eternity, in that it has no beginning,, middle nor end. It has no climax and it has no point. It has no melody, and its harmonies are not worthy of consideration. The rhythms are awkward, and the composer has taken unjustifiable liberties with the accents of the Queen’s English, considering that the book is dedicated to her most gracious Majesty by “her Majesty’s most dutiful and loyal subject and servant.” This is hazardous. If her gracious Majesty had fair acquaintance with her own tongue, she may not consider Dr. Bridges a very dutiful servant, though his loyalty is plainly shown in the care with which he has refrained from writing a single measure that might cause any loyal Briton to suspect him of either Dreibund or Slavonic tendencies. On the contrary, there could be no surer way to preserve the peace of Europe than to compel all persons whose blood beats with the pulse of impending war to sit through a performance of “The Repentance of Nineveh,” for they would sink into a deep and contended slumber, the wicked would cease from troubling, and weary be at rest.

The performance of this soothing example of Oxford musical learning was passable…’

Article from ‘The Musical Times’ – October 1, 1898. Some Recollections IV. On “Supply” Duty.

 

An aged citizen of Gloucester, whose career as an amateur singer extends over sixty years, assured me the other day that he perfectly recollects the times when, of all the churches in the city, only one, the Cathedral, possessed an organ. The Psalms were sung by the congregation, led by a precentor, just as in the neighbouring chapels, and the tribute of the praise was, I gathered, not of a very exalted kind. This state of things may have been due, in a measure, to the character of Gloucester as a puritan city. It was the valiant resistance of the inhabitants, which, in 1643, kept Charles I. Outside the walls till Lord Essex came to their relief and completed a feat of arms which was the turning-point of the Civil War. Prejudices, especially in religious matters, die slowly, and the spirit of protest, which left, even of the Cathedral instrument, only the case of the choir organ, probably lingered long.  However that may be, I can speak positively to the fact that as late as the forties and fifties, organs were rarely seen in the rural districts of the county. More than this, there were, to my certain knowledge, churches wherein,  if the Lord were ever praised, it was by the hearts of the people, not through their many voices. The reader may ask, with natural surprise, what the clergy were about to permit such a state of things. The answer is that the ministers of the Church in those days were nothing like their successors of the present time. Doubtless there were good men among them, who “wished well to Zion,” but did not see their way to break down the wall of tradition that stood between the Church and musically better times. They read the prescribed prayers and lessons , and preached the usual sermons; the music they permitted to take its course, which when it moved at all, was usually strewn with the debris of quarrels among rival practitioners of the divine and soothing art. A story which I once heard in Devonshire, and received with an assurance of its truth from the teller, records that once upon a time conflict raged between a parish clerk and a nominal choir-leader. Each claimed a right to choose the Psalms and tunes, the clergyman apparently having no voice in the matter. So it came about that on a particular Sunday, when party feeling ran high, the clerk announced from his desk: “Let us sing,” &c., “the Hundredth Psalm, All people that on earth do dwell.’” Then arose the leader in the front of the gallery, and, carried beyond decency by rage, shouted “D— ‘All people that on earth do dwell,’ ‘My soul, praise the lord.’” This is, of course, an exaggerated instance, but I remember occurrences almost as ludicrous in their display of the natural man at spiritual moments. There was once a parish clerk in the village of Olveston, Gloucestershire, who, besides discharging his duties at the desk, played the violincello in the choir gallery. This was his procedure: At the proper moment he would announce from his place in the “three-decker” the number of the Psalm and the name of the tune. Then would he move of his official seat, stalk majestically down the aisle, ascend to the gallery, take a reserved place in the centre front, seize his instrument, and proceed to tune it. The tuning was not always speedily done, but it never failed to be done thoroughly, the good old gentleman having no notion of hurry in such a serious business. At the close of the exercise he would return to his first post, with the same impressive deliberation, and so resume his Amens. This ceremony never appeared to the congregation as anything odd. They were used to it, as was the clergyman, who, when not changing surplice for gown, rested quietly in the reading-desk till his subordinate had gone through the customary routine.

One church remaining in my memory as conspicuously destitute in music is that of Oldbury-on-Severn. The edifice stands on the summit of a hill, and, in its white-washed days, was an important landmark for pilots and others who navigated the broad river. That seemed about all the use to which it was put, for extremely few persons thought it worthwhile to climb the hill and listen to the monotonous reading of some “pale, young curate” from the mother church at Thornbury. Usually, no sound of musical voice and instrument broke the dreariness of the service, although a capacious “singing-pew” at the Eastend of the South aisle showed that musical proceedings had at some time been contemplated, perhaps achieved, till the whole movement died of inanition. When I knew the place the “singing-pew” was always empty, save on certain rare occasions that brought relief to this songless temple. My story of the manner in which musical dew sometimes fell upon the Mount Hermon by the river may interest those who are curious regarding the quaint customs and exceeding freedoms of a state of things now for ever passed away.

I have before spoken of the enthusiastic band of instrumentalists then to be found in Thornbury – a band to which I belonged in the modest capacity of viola player. At that time there lived in the town a basket-maker, Philpot by name. He was a musical maniac on lines of his own, and possessed the largest collection of anthems in manuscript that ever came under my notice. Examples old and new, some, by local composers, of the strangest description, were procured from far and near for the purpose of being copied into his big books. At this task most of his evenings were spent, and nothing delighted him more than to place before sympathetic eyes the voluminous collection of which he was so proud. Philpot, however, was not a collector merely. He delighted to take part in expounding the works he had brought together, doing so with a preference for tenor solos; which, as owner of the books, he insisted upon singing. The basket-maker was, in point of fact, a genuine follower of a certain Athenian weaver. Even as Bottom desired to play all the parts in “Pyramus and Thisbe,” so did Philpot wish to sing all the solos in his anthems. Against this attempted monopoly there were frequent protests, followed by “scenes,” but the worthy man held his ground. He deserved indulgence, since he it was who organised the system of musical supply which occasionally bestowed the grace of religious song upon churches like that of Oldbury-on-Severn. Whenever Philpot was seen making calls at musical houses in Thornbury, it was at once understood that arrangements were in progress for an excursion to some outlying and destitute parish. Let me suppose a visit to the church just named, which was within an easy walk and, in summer time, a pleasant walk to boot. Let me further imagine that Philpot, having obtained a sufficient number of acceptances, musters his forces at the time and place fixed upon. Then the little company sets out through the fields in the direction of the white-washed church, which can be seen glinting through the trees on the top of its hill. Each man who is not a singer carries his instrument, and Philpot, bearing his precious manuscript books, stalks on ahead with a swagger that might have made his great prototype envious. Do you ask if the clergyman, or churchwardens, or clerk had been informed that such visitors were to be expected? I reply that nobody dreamed of giving them notice, much less of asking permission. Those officials, in point of fact, were coolly ignored, the assumption being that “supply” could do as it liked, which, indeed, was always the case. The church now comes into full view, and excitement is noticeable among the group of loungers about the gate. They probably caught sight of the “musickers” some time ago, and gave a cue to the village, which is sending up more than its usual contingent of worshippers. It is a treat to watch Philpot pass the idlers at the gate and move on and into the church. The swagger has become positively imposing. No word speaks he, nor does he turn his head or eyes to right or left. He is all dignity and consequence, strengthened by a very comfortable assurance that events will justify the majesty of his bearing when he begins to sing. The clergyman is, perhaps, already in the reading-desk; but he obligingly waits till the visitors have occupied the singing-pew, and tuned their instruments under the round-eyed gaze of as many yokels as can command a view. In a few minutes a piece of paper is handed to the clerk, from which that functionary learns the names of the hymns and anthem which Philpot – who but he? – has selected. Thereupon the service proceeds. I need not follow it.

Nothing is known to me of Oldbury-on-Severn church at the present day, but it can scarcely be rash to assume that the singing-pew has gone, and that the choir seats are ranged along the chancel, decani and cantoris all in order; that an organ is boxed up in some chamber which stifles its tone, and that village boys, “clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful,” regularly chant Heaven’s praises in the vernacular of the Severn Valley, a specimen of which I heard not long since: “Larrd’ave murrcy upon us, and incline owerr ‘arrts to keep this laaw.” By help of the two pictures I have drawn you can measure the advance which Church music has made during the last fifty years. Against the wandering bands of minstrels trampling through sunlit meadows to pay their surprise visit to a music-less church, put the regular and ordered service of organ and choir, and the whole thing is before you. Nevertheless, I claim that there was something picturesque and even poetical in the earlier procedure; kindly-hearted too, and neighbourly. Philpot and nearly all his followers have long since been dust and ashes, and the at one time favourite funeral hymn of the district was probably sung over the remains of those humble musicians. “Hark! From the tombs of doleful sound,” it begins. But you may depend upon it that the lyrics were not chosen with sarcastic intent. Joseph Bennett.

Text on Large Photograph:

 

‘Banquet to Mr Joseph Bennett on the occasion of his retirement from his post as Musical Critic of the “Daily Telegraph”. Chairman: Sir Alexander Campbell Mackenzie. Mus. Doc. D.C.C. CC.D. Tuesday November 6th 1906 Trocadero Restaurant’

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The Musical Times – 1st December 1906:

 

‘Mr. Joseph Bennett. In connection with his retirement from the post of music critic on the staff of the Daily Telegraph, which he has held with great distinction for thirty-six years, Mr. Joseph Bennett was entertained at a banquet, under the presidency of Sir Alexander Mackenzie at the Trocadero Restaurant, Piccadilly, on November 6 when a large company assembled to do honour to the veteran journalist.

Sir Alexander Mackenzie, in proposing the toast of the evening, said:

This occasion is, I believe, unique, inasmuch as there exists no record of any similar manifestation of esteem – shall I say ‘affection’? – on the part of the profession of music towards one of its judges. I approach the toast, and you will doubtless receive it, with the same mingled feelings of regret, gratitude, and admiration. It is the celebration of the completion of a long period of exceptionally useful and exceptionally distinguished work in the service of an Art which our guest has delighted to foster with all his heart and mind, and which he has so endearingly identified himself. For it is hardly possible for any of us to think of or to speak about musical criticism – and we do, I am told, occasionally refer, very privately, to be sure, to that subject – without immediately connecting it with the name of Joseph Bennett. I ought rather to have said the partial completion: because we are glad to think that we are not here to say ‘farewell’ either to himself, his interest or his endeavours in the cause of music. That moment is happily yet deferred – and long may it be in arriving. We have honoured ourselves in biding him here to accept our congratulations on the successful accomplishment of so many years’ successes and admirable work, and to hear our special wishes and hopes that he may be spared to achieve much more before he elects to lay his pen aside.

After referring to the staunch support which Mr. Bennett had always given to British music, the chairman went on to remark:

Mr Bennett will not, I hope, think that I am precipitously abusing the privileges of an old friend and collaborator if I touch upon some of the sterling qualities which at an early stage of his career placed him an ‘easy first’ in the particular department of his choice. I say ‘choice’ advisedly, because there may be a few here who are aware that his journalistic work has been by no means confined to the subject of music. Very far from that. For instance, I remember very well that one of the very first occasions upon which I met him was on Brighton Downs, when Captain Bennett was commanding his company at a review. Let me confess it. At that time a powerful and prominent musical critic with a drawn sword in his hand was to me a somewhat fearsome apparition. It would be still. The association of ideas is much too suggestive to be quite comfortable, and I hardly knew whether to respect him – to use a mild word – more as a soldier or as a censor. I mention the incident because in those days military tactics and the Volunteer movement were among his special subjects. During his long and valuable services as a member of the staff of the Daily Telegraph – a period of no less than thirty-six years – Mr. Bennett, except, perhaps, acting as a war correspondent, has dealt with every conceivable subject (besides music), including Parliamentary reports. I believe he holds the record for attendance at Musical Festivals, for he has, shall I say, ‘survived’ over one hundred of them. He has been among other things, one of the most sympathetic of – as the journalistic phrase runs – undertakers. One almost envies those who have been fortunate enough to have had their funeral described by him. There are the touching and graphic records of the Irish Famine in 1880-81 to point to. And to come to more recent times, do we not remember that splendidly-descriptive series of articles on ‘Palestine’ when he visited the East in 1899? They are still fresh in my memory. Or need I remind you of the many well-known and …’

The Musical Times, December 1, 1910:

‘Joseph Bennett. It would be an interesting task to inquire closely into the influence exerted by musical criticism. What has it done for the art? What are the functions of a musical critic? It is easy to observe that criticism is a considerable educational force, but it is not so clear that with all its penetration it has done much to assist the evolution of the art. It records, assesses, and makes known, but it does not create. It carries you along the road hewn out by the explorer, but goes no further. Wagner and Schumann were, it is true, critics as well as composers, but as critics neither influenced the other, and Strauss, Debusey, Ravel, Elgar, are objects and not products of criticism.

A cursory review of the history of criticism seems to indicate that it has always been chiefly occupied with the analysis and demonstration of faults and virtues of existing music. This conclusion does not belittle criticism: that which is concerned with historical development and the value of musical compositions, and that, more ephemeral which is concerned with execution and interpretation. The former leads to ‘Grove’s Dictionary’ and other literature which, it is satisfactory to record, is greatly increasing in quantity and quality in our language. The other branch is one of the chief functions of the journalistic critic, who obviously must also possess the skill to appraise the value of all music brought before him. He is the chief means by which the public get to know what is going on, and he is its philosopher and guide. This is a great responsibility, especially when it is remembered that a critic can do much to make or mar a composer or an executant. Then the critic should command a lucid literary style that can explain without intrusive or obscure technical phraseology. In our midst we have now many writers in the daily Press who combine all the necessary knowledge, judgement and lucidity. But a generation ago the number of such well-equipped critics was limited. It is with one of the most respected of the Victorian group that we are now concerned.

Joseph Bennett was born at Berkeley, in Gloucestershire on November 29, 1831. He is therefore now in his eightieth year. He was first educated in his native place, which for a small township, was in its humble way a musical centre. No special attention was devoted to music by Bennett during his early youth. He assimilated all that was offered by the local choral societies and the small orchestras connected with the chapels, and he in time went to the church Sunday school and became solo boy in the choir. The band practices were the chief attraction to the youth, and he joined the musical society as a viola player and became exceedingly fond of the instrument. He recalls even now his vexation that in much of the music played he was merely doubling the violoncello in octaves. Amongst the music played at these rehearsals were arrangements for strings, flute, and pianoforte of Haydn’s ‘Salomon’ symphonies, Corelli’s string pieces, Dr. Arne’s overture, ‘Artaxerxes’, and the inevitable march from ‘Judas’. When Bennett reached his nineteenth years his friends wished him to become an Independent minister, but after severe introspection he decided that he could not accept all the doctrine taught by the Congregationalists. His next important step was to enter the Borough Road (London) Training College for Schoolmasters. This was in 1853, when he was twenty-two years of age. He studied in this college for one year only, and then, after rejecting an offer from Stratford (London) on account of the condition of his health, he accepted a post in a school in Margate. In this bracing seaside town he also acted as organist to the Baptist Church. He remained at Margate for eleven months and was induced to leave in order to become the master of the school attached to Dr. Allen’s well-known Union Chapel at Islington (North London), then a centre of light and lending. There he became acquainted with Dr. Gauntlett, a clever and eccentric musician, whose doings and curious literary utterances attracted much attention at this period. After three years’ service at the Union Chapel, Bennett heard that Dr. Binney’s Weigh House Chapel (not far from the Monument), wanted a precentor and schoolmaster, offices not infrequently united in these economical times. He applied for these posts, and was duly appointed in 1857; but he soon found it necessary to resign the precentorship because the duties of the office deprived him of the organ practice he was anxious to maintain. He then took up a position as organist at a chapel near Buckingham Palace. Meanwhile he retained his post as schoolmaster at Weigh House Chapel, and conducted one or two choral societies.

How did Mr. Bennett acquire the enviable literary facility and Felicity of diction that distinguished his career as a musical journalist, and made him the most popular critic of his time? In the sketch of his life so far recounted there seems nothing in his early environment calculated to develop exceptional knowledge and faculty. His musical education was of the amateur kind, and his outlook was peculiarly early-Victorian; he had no University education, and he came in contact with no literary or musical set. The only conclusion is that he was to the manner born. The match was already there, waiting for some…’

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  1. JAMES ELEY, cousin of James Eley IV

 

James Eley was born on 11th February 1833 at Berkeley. In the 1841 census he was at home aged eight years and in the 1851 census return he was described as a Saddler’s Apprentice and was still living at home, aged eighteen. James became a Saddler at Ryde on the Isle of Wight from 1859.

At the time of the 1861 census James was staying with his uncle Charles Colenutt at Homeland House, Ryde. James was described as a twenty-eight-year-old Saddler born in Berkeley. Charles Colenutt was a forty-seven-year-old Innkeeper born at Alvestock and his wife Ann, aged forty-six-years, was born at Bethnal Green. Living in the house were various other residents who were family members. Charles and Ann had a daughter Annette who was aged one year and born in Ryde. There was also Thomas Hatfield, described as a son and a Jeweller, aged twenty-years and born in Ryde and Charles Colenutt’s mother-in-law Rebecca Hatfield (first wife’s mother), the eighty-three-year-old Proprietor of the House who was born in Newchurch and another mother-in-law Frances Taylor (second wife’s mother), aged sixty-two-years and born in Godshill. Most significantly there are two other young ladies in the house who were described as daughters-in-law of Charles Colenutt, namely Fanny Ann Campling, aged twenty-one-years and Harriet Campling, aged nineteen years, both born in Bethnal Green.

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James Eley was to marry his uncle’s niece, Fanny Ann Campling (1839-1917). According to her birth certificate she was born at 24 Bethnal Green Road, 12th July 1839. Her father, William Campling (pork butcher), registered the birth. Her mother was Ann Campling formerly Taylor.

It would seem that Charles Colenutt married Rebecca Hatfield and she died on 20th March 1850 leaving him a widower. During the first quarter of 1851 he married Ann Campling the mother of Harriet and Fanny Ann. In 1851 the Colenutts were residing at 47 Alwin Street, Newchurch, Ryde. Charles was then a thirty-seven-year-old Brewer employing one man; Ann was aged thirty-six; Fanny A. Campling aged eleven, and her sister Harriet aged nine years – both scholars; and Charles’s son, John Colenutt, a Grocer’s Apprentice, aged fifteen years. Back in 1841 twenty-five year old, William Campling, a butcher, and his wife of the same age, Ann, were living at Bethnal Green with their six-week-old daughter Harriet. This is probably Fanny-Ann’s family even though the data does not altogether coincide.

At the time of the 1871 census James was a thirty-eight-year-old Saddler of 4 Argyll Street, Ryde, and a native of Berkeley. His wife Fanny A. Eley was thirty-one and born in Bethnal Green; Annie was an eight-year-old scholar; Alice a five year old scholar; James a three-year-old and Harriet was aged one year. All of the children were born at Ryde. Staying with them was James’s mother, Ann Eley, a sixty-one-year-old Widow with ‘houses’ and born in Forton. They had a domestic servant, Elizabeth Young.

By 1881 the family had moved to 49 Union Street, Ryde. James was a forty-eight-year-old Saddler, Their children included Annie aged eighteen; Alice aged fifteen; James aged thirteen; Henriette M. aged eleven; Marion F. aged nine; Margaret aged three and Wm C. aged one year and all of them were natives of Ryde.

In 1891 they were still living at 49 Union Street. By now James was described as a fifty-eight-year-old Harness Maker born in Berkeley; Fanny A. Eley was aged fifty-seven and born in London; Alice aged twenty-five-years was an Assistant Dress Maker born in Ryde as was nineteen-year-old Marion F.. The youngest child was William C. Eley, also born in Ryde.

In the 1901 census return he was still working as a Saddler of 49 Union Street, Ryde. He was described as sixty-eight-years-old and born at Berkeley. Fanny was sixty-one-years and born at Bethnal Green, London. Fanny Ann died in 1917 and James Eley died on 22nd June 1918.

Fanny Ann Eley of Lucerne, Wells Street, Ryde, wife of James Eley died on 20th October 1917. Probate was granted at London on 2nd January 1918 to Alice and Margaret Eley, spinsters. Her effects were valued at £294-1-6d. James Eley of Lucerne, Wells Street, Ryde, died on 22nd June 1918. Probate was granted on 23rd October 1918 to James Eley, company secretary. His effects were valued at £269-13-6d.

Extract from The Running Tide by Kenneth Marling:

 

‘My Great Grandfather, James Eley, had a saddlery business in the town, and with other tradesmen supplying the Castle, or working on the estate, was entertained to supper at the Castle as often as he cared to attend. His son, another James, opened a similar business in Ryde, in the Isle of Wight in 1859, where his mother’s brothers had a grocery and wine and spirit shop, and eventually sold it in 1900. The son of the purchaser is still running it, and a few years ago gave me a copper plate from which the elder James had his trade cards printed some 140 years ago. Under an inscription “Berkeley Hunt”, it shows huntsmen and hounds at full gallop, then grandfather’s name and business, and claims that “Chariot and gig harness made in the newest styles – Hunting spurs etc – Horses measured and carefully fitted.”

Extract from Walter Eley’s Journal of 1900:

 

‘In the station yard we found James, Henry and sister Emily waiting for us. I gave James his bag and hat. I had my cap which he had worn all the previous day and at 12.30pm James left Bristol for Ryde, Isle of Wight. He was very poorly, leg weak and painful, his hand puffed up, and I really saw that it was the best thing for him to do. So we bid him goodbye, and he said that it would be his last visit to Gloucestershire.’

Excerpts from Richard Colenutt, correspondence with Kenneth Marling 1969-1971:

‘I well remember both great-uncle Charles and “Aunt Nancy” as everybody called her. She was a “dear old soul”. I also remember Annette well. She was, of course, my father’s first cousin.’

‘By his second marriage Charles Colenutt had a daughter Annette, who did not marry, but whom I remember well. She outlived her parents.’

‘James Eley of Ryde. I find it difficult to understand why my near relatives appear to have had no personal contacts with J.E. In 1904 I was 18; my grandmother lived till 1916, and beside her I had 3 uncles in Ryde. Beside these there was my father. They had all lived for years next door to No 49 Union Street. Opposite lived my aunt, Mrs. Gurnell (?). We were a closely knit clan, and it seems odd that I should have no recollection of   any personal contact by any of us with J.E. nor have I any remembrance of any person J.E. He is just a faintly remembered name. Yet I never heard of any disagreement between him and the rest of the family…’

Ken Marling: Holiday notes May 1969:

 

‘During a recent holiday in the Isle of Wight, we made enquiries about the Colenutts – my great grandmother being Ann Colenutt of Ryde.

We first went to the Town Hall there, and saw portraits of Charles and Richard Colenutt, brothers of Ann, who were Mayors of Ryde in 1879, 1880, 1883 and 1887, 1888 respectively. We then called at the shop they started in Union Street in 1843 at 46-48 as grocers and wine and spirit merchants. None of the family now remained in it; the wine and spirit side have been sold off, and the grocery business is continued at 47-48 by a Company as “Colenutt”.

We then called at a saddlery shop next door in No. 49, which appeared to be long established, and in conversation with the owner, Mr Talbot, found that his father had purchased the business in 1904 from the founder – James Eley!

This was the eldest son of James Eley, the Saddler of Berkeley, and he had doubtless been taught the trade by his father there. At that time the new railways were taking the posting trade from the country towns and the prospect in Berkeley was probably not too good. On the other hand, with the establishment of Queen Victoria’s country home at Osborne, not far away from Ryde, the prospect of a growing business was no doubt much better there, and with her brothers well established in business in the main street of Ryde, Ann probably encouraged her son to set up there next door to her two brothers, and he opened his shop in 1859, when he was 26.

James Eley, the saddler of Berkeley, died in 1861, but no mention of his former shop is made in my father’s reminiscences of Berkeley, although he refers to places he remembers from about 1866, and it is possible that he gave up the business some little time before his death. The business was not carried out by his son, James, who opened his shop in Ryde in 1859. I have found a note by father that Henry carried on at Berkeley for a while. A deed of 1871 describes him as a Saddler of Cotham, but in 1883 father says he was a saddler in Colston Street, Bristol.

James’ widow, Ann Colenutt, continued to live in Berkeley for some time after his death, and my father remembers going to her house in High Street. He records in his notes that early in the summer of 1867 she had to go to Thornbury to see her solicitor on some business connected with her late husband’s estate, but later went with her youngest daughter, Fanny Dearlove, to live in Bristol, and he records being fetched from school as his mother had been summoned to that city when her mother died in 1877. A letter from Oliver George Marling to his son Allan on March 19th 1874 while he was staying with an aunt in Bristol, enquires about Grandma, Aunt Fanny and others and is addressed to Wickselm Cottage, Berkeley Road, Horfield, Bristol. This seems to be where Ann was then living, and possibly she was buried near.

Mr Talbot gave me the copper plate from which James of Berkeley had his trade cards printed. It depicts hunters and hounds of the Berkeley Hunt above his name and inscription, and would be about 140 years old (1829c). It was obviously brought to Ryde by his son, James, and given by him to Talbot’s father when he bought the business, and preserved by his son as too good to destroy when he cleared out items on his father’s death. It is curious that Henry Eley did not keep this.

James of Ryde was clearly quite a character as the present Talbot well remembers the tales his father told him about James. Talbot was very amused to read in the minutes of the Ryde Bird Show and Local Sports that James, one Munt, an antique dealer, and Blake, a vet, held the various offices in the society and took each in turn – and an honorarium that went with them!

We found in the records of the Ryde Baptist Church that Henry Colenutt was Sunday School Superintendent in 1856, and as he wrote inviting a Rev. S. cox to become minister in November 1855 was probably Church Secretary then.

In a list of members on the reformation of Christ Church Baptist Church, Ryde, on March 4th 1866, Mary, Henry, Elizabeth and Emily Grace were included. Henry was deacon on 1st April 1868 and retired from office on 6th April 1870. All but Mary were removed from the roll on 28th November 1872 with others, for removal or non-attendance.

Walter Eley was a member on 31st July 1887 and removed to the Church at the Literary Institute, Ventnor. This was probably the brother of James, and he was a corsetiere and had three wives! A Mrs Eley (late Miss Randle) was dismissed to the Church under Mr Wilkinson at Ventnor on 3rd November 1869.

We later called to see Mr Richard Colenutt, of Thalassa, Castle Road, Ventnor. He is a grandson of Ann’s brother Richard, who was Mayor of Ryde… For some three and a half centuries the Colenutt family lived mainly in the Isle of Wight, at Arreton, Gatcombe, Newchurch, Godshill, Whitwell and Niton. Ann’s father Abraham Colenutt went to Forton, Gosport, but returned to the Island. Many of the family are still there.

It is curious that Ann Colenutt was married from St James’ Church, Bristol, and not from her home. A note of the marriage and her children was left by my great uncle Edward, with dates of birth and death – except his own, and that of Elizabeth and Mary. Several of the children returned to Bristol, as did Ann after her husband died. I have noticed since typing the previous sheet that Ann was buried in Thornbury Baptist Burying Ground, after her death in Bristol. She was born at Gosport and was baptised at Gosport Chapel. Her mother returned to Ryde, where Charles and Richard Colenutt were then in business, on her husband’s death in 1840 and died in 1877.

Ann Eley’s mother, Mary Colenutt, nee Knight, of Newport, Isle of Wight, was born in 1786, and a photo marked “Grandma Colenutt, Oct 21st 1871” which I had taken to be of Ann, is in fact of Mary on her eighty-fifth birthday (or two days later), as Richard Colenutt showed me others taken at that time and clearly marked as Mary.

From a telephone call made to the only Meader in the Island, we met the widow of Henry Meader’s son, William Campling Meader, and Mrs Jones, who is a sister of the Annette shown as a girl of about nine years in the photograph of the four generations which was taken in about 1901. They were grandchildren of James Eley of Ryde, their great grandmothers, both paternal and maternal, being Ann Colenutt. This came about as James Eley’s mother was Ann Colenutt referred to above, while his wife’s mother, nee Ann Taylor, married one Campling, and then Charles Colenutt, Ann’s brother. James’s wife, Fanny was Campling’s daughter.

Mrs Jones showed us Ann (Campling)’s wedding bonnet and those of her bridesmaids; a hot cross bun bought on the Good Friday in 1815 on which she was born, with a tea caddy her father brought home from India at that time, and in which it was kept for many years before being placed in a glass case. It is a bit moth eaten (or rather grub eaten), but was shown on T.V. on its 150th anniversary. She also showed us samplers made by Ann Taylor and her mother.

We subsequently visited several of the places where the Colenuut (or Colenut or Colnett, the spelling varies over the years) family had lived…’


  1. MARTHA MARLING, cousin of James Eley IV

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Martha Eley was born on 31st October 1834 at Berkeley. She married Oliver George Marling at the Union Chapel, Berkeley, on 6th January 1859. He was born in 1827, the son of George Marling, a grocer in Berkeley from 1841-1863 (David Tandy’s ‘Berkeley – A town in the marshes’). On the marriage certificate Oliver George Marling was described as a 31-year-old Clerk whilst she was a 24-year-old woman with ‘no calling’.

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At the time of the 1861 census they were living in Canonbury Street, Berkeley. Oliver G. Marling was aged thirty-four-years and described as a Clerk in the Canal Office and Telegraph Clerk, born in Clifton. Martha was his twenty-six-year-old wife, born in Berkeley and there so was Alan L. Marling, aged seven months, and born in Berkeley. In 1863 Oliver George Marling was described as a baker and confectioner of Berkeley (David Tandy’s ‘Berkeley – A town in the marshes’) He worked for the Canal Company at Sharpness for forty-four years and he became Secretary to Sharpness Docks.

At the time of the census in 1871 Martha Marling was staying with her brother Edward at 14 Dighton Street, Bristol. She was described as a married thirty-six-year-old sister who was born in Berkeley. She had with her two of her children Grace aged three years and Frank George aged eight years, both born in Berkeley. Meanwhile Oliver George was back at home in Salter Street, Berkeley, a forty-four-year-old Clerk in the Canal Office, born at Clifton. Their son Alan Lancelot Marling was also at home aged ten-years, a scholar, born in Berkeley.

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In 1881 Oliver George Marling was the fifty-four-year-old Postmaster and Dock Office Clerk at Sharpness, born in Clifton. His wife Martha was aged forty-six-years and born at Berkeley; Allan L. Marling, a twenty-year-old Postmaster’s Clerk; Frank G. Marling an eighteen-year-old Postmaster’s Clerk; Grace E. aged thirteen a scholar; Alice M. M. aged nine years a scholar and Kate M. aged six years a scholar. All the children were born in Berkeley.

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In 1891 they were shown in the return as living at 9 Dock Row, Sharpness. Oliver G. Marling was the Company’s clerk aged sixty-four-years and born in Clifton; Martha was the fifty-six-year-old Sub Postmaster. Frank G. Marling was described as a twenty-eight-year-old Clerk; Alice M.M. Marling was a nineteen-year-old Postmistress’s Assistant and Kate M. was aged sixteen years.

Oliver George Marling died on 31st August 1892.

In 1901 Martha Marling was living with her son Frank and his family at 9 Dock Row, Sharpness. She was described as a sixty-six-year-old Widow born in Berkeley.

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Martha died on 6th July 1914. The Marling Family knew her as “Nana”.

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Martha Marling

 

Frank George Marling:

“Oliver George was born at Clifton on 1st December 1826. At Berkeley he married Martha Eley in 1859. He worked for the Gloucester and Berkeley Canal Company for 44 years, much of the time walking 3 miles each way from Berkeley to Sharpness daily. For a time Martha kept a Baker’s shop, but she was too generous with poor payers and the venture was given up. They had three boys and three girls, my father being the second son. In September 1875, soon after the New Docks at Sharpness were opened the family moved there, where Oliver was Chief Clerk and Sub-Postmaster. He was concerned at the waste in the Pilotage service, rival pilots cruising in competition almost as far as the coast of France to pick up a vessel, and worked for an amalgamation which my father organised, under which a rota system worked, with the pilots sharing the income on a seniority basis.

Oliver died in 1892 and Martha survived him until 1914 – for most of this time she lived with my parents, but when Alice opened a Millinery business at Sharpness she moved to Newtown with her, but did not live long after. “Nana”, as we knew her, was part of my early childhood, and we were very fond of her.

Then the Gloucester Pilotage Board was formed in 1862, Oliver and the Harbour Master were asked if they would leave their remuneration to be settled until after the results of the first year’s working were known! Hardly modern trade union practice, but apparently accepted then.”

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Extract from the Reminiscences of Frank George Marling:

‘The Sharpness New Docks were opened on Wednesday 25 November 1874, between eight and nine in the morning. I was to have gone with my Father to the opening but it turned out such a pouring, wet morning that it was felt inadvisable that I should go. It would have meant walking nearly three miles each way besides standing about in an exposed place in the rain. My Father’s duties, as Clerk to the Dock Company, called him there, so of course he went. In the evening he told us how the “Director” was the first ship to enter, followed by the “protector”, both sailing vessels, assisted by tugs. Up to then the Dock Company’s Sharpness office was at the Old Dock, where Father was in charge, he being assisted by a young man names Joseph Sturge. With the opening of the New Docks the Dock Company decided to have an office there and to transfer my father there, giving him a young man, Harry Hall, to assist him, Mr. Sturge remaining at the Old Dock office, and to be accountable to father. The Dock Company said they would build an office, with dwelling house attached, for my father, as they wished him to live on the spot instead of walking from and to Berkeley as he had done for some 25 years. Meanwhile they fitted up the ground floor of one of the houses originally intended for lockmen, but till then occupied by the dock contractors, and the house next door forming part of the same block, together with two of the bedrooms over the offices, was allocated to father as a dwelling house, and thither we moved in September 1875. (The new office and dwelling house was never built).’

Extracts from the Running Tide by Kenneth Marling:

 

‘In my grandfather’s time the river pilots worked individually, or in small groups, running their own cutters in which they cruised around for vessels bound for Sharpness, sometimes sailing nearly to the coast of France to outdo rivals. The Gloucester Pilotage Board was formed in 1862, when the Harbour Master at Sharpness was appointed Collector of Dues, and Grandfather his clerk. A letter from the Board of 16 May of that year enquired whether they would be will for the amount of their remuneration to remain to be settled when the results of the first year’s working were known! It appears that they were – a modern shop steward’s comments on such an arrangement would be worth hearing! There was much waste in the competitive system, and both Grandfather and my Father urged them to amalgamate, which they eventually did in my Father’s time. He was appointed Agent to arrange rotas, calculate the charges payable, and divide the net income between the pilots on a basis involving seniority. Many and varied were the problems involved, but when I came to take an interest things were working smoothly…’

Grandfather had been the Chief Clerk at the Old Dock and Father followed him in serving the Dock Company for a time, but later her kept on only the Pilotage and Bank Agencies…’

‘Nana, Father’s mother, died in 1914, and we all walked over to the Church at Newtown for the funeral service, the girls in white silk dresses, and black stockings and boots. They went on to the Cemetery at Berkeley, but I was considered too young, and Mother took me home.’

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Obituary (1892):

‘In Loving Memory of Oliver George Marling, for 44 years in the service of the Gloucester & Berkeley Canal Co. who entered into rest 31st August 1892, aged 65 years’

Frank G. Marling: ‘The First Fifty Years of Union Church, Sharpness 1880-1930,  published by T & W Goulding, Printers and Publishers, Nelson Street, Bristol, 1930.

  1. The 25th Anniversary

 

In celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the founding of the church, a Re-union was held on 25th January, 1905. Many old scholars and teachers were present in response to over 400 personal invitations sent out.

After a capital tea, Mr. Geo. Field presided at the Re-union Meeting, supported by Rev. W. Bailey, …, F.G. Marling, …

Others present included … Mrs. M. Marling…

 

Obituaries (1914):

‘Marling – On July 6th at Sea View House, Sharpness, after long suffering, Martha Marling, widow of Oliver George Marling, aged 79.’

‘Death of Mrs Marling, Senior. – The death of Mrs Marling, Senior. Early on Monday morning last, removed one of the oldest residents of Sharpness, Mrs Marling, who was well on in her 80th year, having come with her husband (the late Mr O.G. Marling) to reside in Sharpness in September 1875.

The late Mr Marling, who died in 1892, was for over 40 years connected with the Dock and Pilotage Services, and for some years was also sub-postmaster. Since her husband’s death, the deceased lady for the most part resided with her second son, Mr F.G. Marling, at the Bank, but some nine months ago went to live with her surviving daughter who had come to Sharpness and had purchased a business at Sea View house, Newtown, where Mrs Marling passed away, surrounded by her family, after a long illness, patiently borne.

The funeral took place on Wednesday last, amidst every token of respect. The Rev. W. Bailey conducted the first part of the funeral service in the Union Church, whither the body was carried by six pilots of the Port, namely Messrs. T.H. Price, T. Langford, A Price, J. Williams, J.G. King and R.W. Everett, who acted as bearers throughout. The mourners included Mr Allan L. Marling, Mr F.G. Marling (sons), Miss Marling (daughter), Mrs A.L. Marling and Mrs F.G. Marling (daughters-in-law), Miss Connie Marling, Miss Kathleen Marling and Miss Ruth Marling (grand-daughters), Master Kenneth Marling (grandson), Mr Ernest Eley (cousin), Mr L. Davies etc. Others present were: Mr J.V. Thomas (traffic manager), Capt. F. Field (Harbour Master), Mr J. Sturge, Mr Hy Mills (pilot), Mr J. Tanner (pilot), Mr E. Phillips (pilot), Mr H. Atkins (deacon), Mr F. Wakeham, Mr A.J.T. Chandler, a number of ladies connected with the Church and other friends.

As the coffin was carried into and out of the Church, Miss Field (Church Organist) played the Dead March in Saul and other appropriate music. After the service the body was placed in a glass hearse and covered with flowers and with the male relatives and friends in coaches the cortege proceeded to Berkeley Cemetery, being joined en route by the Rev T Wesley Brown (Pastor of Union Church, Berkeley, with which the deceased was connected in her early days), Mr B. Fear (Senior Deacon, and a life-long friend), Messrs. George Morgan and E. Morgan (pilots).

The committal service was read by the Rev. W. Bailey and prayer offered by the Rev. T. Wesley Brown. The coffin was of solid unpolished oak with brass fittings, and was supplied by Messrs. H. Price and Son, Wanswell, who carried out the whole of the funeral arrangements in a most efficient manner. The wreaths were as follows:- In sacred memory of dear mother from Allan, Mab and Connie. In loving memory of dear Mother , from Frank and Kate; In loving memory of a devoted Mother, from Alice; In loving memory of dear Grandma, from Lancelot; In loving memory of dear Grandma, from Donald; In loving memory of dear Grandma, Reg and Rene; From the old garden, in loving memory of dear Grandma, from Kathleen, Ruth and Kenneth; In very kind memory, Mr and Mrs J.S. Eley; With deepest and loving sympathy from the Ayliffe Family; With loving memories, Mrs Davies. Beautiful floral decorations were also arranged at the house and in the Church by the Rev. W. Bailey.’…’

Frank G. Marling: ‘The First Fifty Years of Union Church, Sharpness 1880-1930,  published by T & W Goulding, Printers and Publishers, Nelson Street, Bristol, 1930.

By request, Mr. Marling gave a brief outline of the history of the church, as he had been connected with it during the whole of the fifty years.

He said that some little time after the Sharpness New Docks were opened in 1874, evangelical services were commenced in a small wooden room adjoining the Dry Dock, the Harbourmaster, Capt. James Calway, taking the leading part in the arrangements.

The attendance soon outgrew the accommodation, and a lady who heard of the circumstances presented an iron room which was erected at the east end of Dock Row, and services were then held there under the auspices of the St. Andrew’s Waterside Mission, with financial assistance from the Sharpness New Docks Company. At these services some of the Church of England prayers were used.

Subsequently the control of the services was handed over to the Vicar of Berkeley, and eventually full Church of England practices were introduced, whereupon those of the congregation who accounted themselves to be nonconformists, including Capt. Calway, Mr. O.G. Marling, and others approached the Union Church, Berkeley, and asked for assistance in establishing services more in accordance with their belief. This led to the founding of the Sharpness Union Church. Mr. Marling then gave an outline of the history of the church up to the present day.


  1. MARY DURRANT, cousin of James Eley IV

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Mary Eley was born at Berkeley on 6th September 1836. Mary was at home for the 1841 and 1851 censuses aged four and fourteen respectively. In 1881 she was living at the Berlin Wool Warehouse, 45 High Street, in St Stephen’s Parish, St John’s (Wood), London. She was described as unmarried, a native of Berkeley and employing two staff – Annie Andrews and Alice Sibley.

During the second quarter of 1882 Mary Eley married Walford Durrant in Marylebone Registration District.

The 1881 census reveals a Walford Durrant was living at 104 St John’s Wood Terrace. He was described as a fifty-one-year-old widower and Builder who was born at Harstead, Norfolk.

Further to this in 1871 this same Walford Durrant was living at 14 Belgrave Road. He was described then as a forty-one-year-old Carver and Gilder, born at Horstead,Norfolk. With him was his wife Emma, aged forty-one-years, the Principal of a School, who had been born in North Wales. With her was her son Richard C. Thomas, a schoolboy, aged ten years and born in Chester. Living in the house on the night of the census was a governess, two pupils, a lodger and a servant.

During the first quarter of 1869 Walford Durrant had married Emma Thomas in Marylebone Registration District and she is probably the Emma Durrant who died aged forty-eight-years during the last quarter of 1877 in Marylebone Registration District. Her son Richard C. Thomas, was probably at the time of the 1881 census a Draper’s Assistant living at a company hostel at 198-212 Westminster Road, Lambeth. He was shown as aged twenty-one-years and born in Chester, Cheshire.

Finally there was a Walford Durrant, aged twelve, who was living with his grandmother Elizabeth Durrant and his siblings at Hethersett, Humbleyon, Norfolk, at the time of the 1841 census. However, Walford was not a unique family name amongst the East Anglian Durrants.

So far I have found little else about Walford and Mary but it is family tradition that they lived in London.


  1. SARAH ANN CHESTERFIELD, cousin of James Eley IV

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Sarah Ann Eley was born on 19th July 1838 at Berkeley. She was at home for the 1841 and 1851 censuses aged two years and twelve years respectively. By 1871 Sarah Ann had married George Chesterfield and we find them on the night of the census living at 21 (north side) Blackheath Hill, Greenwich. George was described as a thirty-year-old Linendraper, born at St James Deeping in Lincolnshire, and his wife ‘Susan’ was aged thirty-two and born at Berkeley. They employed two apprentices Emma Manning and Louisa Patch.

In 1881 the family had moved to 30 Devonshire Street, Greenwich. Now George was a forty-year-old Linendraper employing three female assistants and a boy. Again his place of birth was given as St James Deeping in Lincolnshire. Sarah A. Chesterfield was aged forty-two-years and their children included George E. aged nine, a scholar; Edith aged seven, a scholar; William aged five; James aged three and Alice K. aged one year. All of the children were born in Greenwich. Also resident were Elizabeth and Harriet Sadler a general servant and a nurse maid.

Sarah Ann died on 3rd January 1900 in Greenwich Registration District.

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In 1901 George was at 60-62 London Street, Greenwich. He was described in the census as a sixty-year-old Linen Draper, Employer and Widower, born at St James Deeping, Lincolnshire. With him was his daughter Emily G. Chesterfield, aged eighteen years and born at Greenwich. Resident staff included Kate Lowe a draper’s assistant, Lily Parker the cook and Ethel Dowden the housemaid.


  1. HENRY ELEY, cousin of James Eley IV

 

Henry Eley was born on 18th April 1840 at Berkeley. At the time of the 1841 and 1851 censuses aged one year and ten years respectively. In 1861 he was still at home and was described as a twenty-year-old Saddler and Harness Maker working alongside his father. After his father’s death in 1861 he took over the business in Canonbury Street, Berkeley,  before he moved his business to Cotham, Bristol sometime after 1867.

In 1871 Henry Eley was living as a Boarder and Lodger at 3 Highbury Parade, St Michael’s, Bristol. He was described as a thirty-year-old married Saddler and Harness Maker – Master employing one man – born in Berkeley. With him was his wife Harriet F. Eley, aged twenty-five-years and born at Coleford in the Forest of Dean. Also staying with them was Fanny Eley his twenty-two-year-old unmarried sister who was born in Berkeley.

He married Harriet Collings.

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On the night of the 1881 census return Henry Eley was a visitor at the Black Lion Inn, Castle Street, Thornbury. He was described as a visitor, a Saddler, aged forty years and born Berkeley. Meanwhile his wife Harriet F. Eley was at 62 Colston Street, Bristol She was described as married, a Saddler’s wife, aged thirty-five-years and born in Coleford. With her were their children Harris H. Eley aged twelve years and born in Berkeley and Mary Smith a sixteen-year-old servant.

A website refers to Eley Mr Henry, 9/83 of 86 Colston Street and Eley Mrs Harriot 6/84 of the same address – could this refer to a Baptist Church record???

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Harriet Eley

In 1891 Henry was living with his family at 88 Colston Street, St Michael’s, Bristol. He was described as a fifty-year-old Saddler and Harness Maker born at Berkeley. His wife Harriet F. was forty-seven and a native of Coleford. Harris H. Eley was a twenty-two-year-old Electrician born in Berkeley. They also had a servant in residence, Mary Ann Maggs.

On 20th October 1897 the Bristol Times and Mirror reported that 32 Colston Street, let to Mr. H. Eley at £45 per annum with a yearly ground rent of £7-10-0d and Land Tax of 15s, was to be sold by auction.

In 1900 Henry was still living in Colston Street, Bristol and in that year his son Harris Henry died in a motor car accident on Porlock Hill.

In the 1901 census return Henry and Harriet were listed at 86 Colston Street, Bristol. Henry was described as a sixty-year-old Saddler and Local Preacher, born in Berkeley. His wife, Harriet P. (sic) Eley, was described as fifty-six-years-old and born in Coleford. Staying with them was Louisa Clowes, his widowed sister-in-law, aged fifty and born in Newport. A 1902 trade directory listed him as a Saddler and Harness Maker of 86 Colston Street, Bristol.

He died on 10th June 1916 and was buried at Thornbury Baptist Church.

Thornbury Baptist Church Records:

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

Ken Marling’s Holiday Notes 1969:

‘James Eley, the saddler of Berkeley, died in 1861, but no mention of his former shop is made in my father’s reminiscences of Berkeley, although he refers to places he remembers from about 1866, and it is possible that he gave up the business some little time before his death. The business was not carried out by his son, James, who opened his shop in Ryde in 1859. I have found a note by father that Henry carried on at Berkeley for a while. A deed of 1871 describes him as a Saddler of Cotham, but in 1883 father says he was a saddler in Colston Street, Bristol.’

 

Extract from the Reminiscences of Frank George Marling:

‘We drove in a dog cart driven by my Uncle Henry, who had taken over the saddlery business formerly carried out by my Grandfather (his father, James Eley) in Canonbury Street…We corresponded for a couple of years, and then Uncle Henry, then in business as a saddler in Colston Street, Bristol, invited us both to visit him and his wife for a week. I suppose he saw how things were, and had a serious talk with me, saying he did not think we ought to marry as we were too nearly related, etc.’

 

Extract from Walter Eley’s Journal of 1900:

 

‘Coming out from the station yard we were highly delighted and gratified to see our brother James waiting for us. Mutual congratulations and expressions of pleasure followed. We mounted an electric tram, the property of the Bristol Tramway Company, who serve Bristol with their fine system of trams. We went down Victoria Street, along another street, over two bridges to what is locally called the Tram Centre, which is at the bottom of Colston Street, passing up the street, noting the burnt Colston Hall, we soon arrived at our brother’s Henry’s place.

We received a hearty welcome from him and Alice, and here it was accomplished at last, all of us four brothers meeting together once more. We were each highly pleased at the fact, especially our brother Edward, for he was congratulating us all round, one after the other. “Pleased to see you brother James, and you Henry and Walt.” Laughing and chatting followed with a little pleasantry, and in the middle of it our sister Emily and George came in. Then the welcome and the mutual congratulations had to be gone over again and it was a meeting full of genuine pleasure and delight. We spent about an hour in this delightful manner, then we decided to go and be photographed.’

See Thornbury Roots: 9 Castle Street


  1. EDWARD ELEY, cousin of James Eley IV

 

Edward Eley was born on 25th November 1841 at Berkeley. He was at home for the 1851 and 1861 censuses and was aged nine and nineteen respectively. In the latter he was described as a Cooper. He married Charlotte Mary Ann Yeatman in about 1868/9.

In 1871 we find Edward living with his family at 14 Dighton Street, St James, Bristol. He was described in the census as a Master Cooper employing one man and one boy. His wife Charlotte Mary A. Eley was aged twenty-nine-years and was born at Uphill in Somerset and their daughter Edith Mary was aged five months and was born in Bristol. Staying with them on the night of the census was his sister Martha Marling with her children Grace and Frank George and their details are given elsewhere.

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By the time of the 1881 census Edward and Charlotte had moved to 58 Grange Street, Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire. Edward was listed as a thirty-nine-year-old Cooper born in Berkeley, Charlotte was aged forty and born in Uphill and their children included Edith M. Eley, a ten-year-old scholar born in Bristol and Philip G. Eley, a seven-year-old born at Horfield. Staying with them as boarders were two married Coopers, Fred Sweatman from Bristol and George Robinson.

In 1891 Edward and Charlotte were living at 77 Blackpool Street, Burton-on-Trent. Edward was a forty-nine-year-old Cooper born in Berkeley and Charlotte M.A. Eley was aged fifty from Uphill. Their children included Edith M. Eley, aged twenty, a Draper’s Assistant born in Bristol; Philip G. Eley a seventeen-year-old Chemist’s Apprentice born in Horfield and young Mabel G. Eley who was aged three years and born in Burton-on-Trent. Staying with them on the night of the census was Walter Eley, Edward’s brother, who was described as a forty-seven-year-old Commission Agent, born in Berkeley.

In the 1901 census return Edward was still residing at 77 Blackpool Street, Burton-on-Trent. He was described as a fifty-nine-year-old Cooper, a worker, born in Berkeley. His wife, Charlotte Mary Ann, was aged sixty years and born in Uphill, Somerset. Their thirteen-year-old daughter, Mabel Grace, was born in Burton-on-Trent.

Extract from the Reminiscences of Frank George Marling:

‘Then, when I was quite small, she (Grandmother Eley) and my youngest aunt, Aunt Fanny, went to live in Bristol, and on several occasions I went to stay with them. I enjoyed this very much, and used to roam about the City by myself. At other times going with Grandma to call on Uncle Edward or Aunt Emily (Mrs. Greening) who also lived in Bristol at that time.

 

Extract from the Running Tide by Kenneth Marling:

‘In the autumn of 1910 my great uncle Edward paid us a visit, and when he arrived I was high up in a tall Arburtus tree by the house. That Christmas he sent me 2/6d – a not inconsiderable sum in those days – and in the accompanying letter, addressed to “My dear little tree climber”, for he had forgotten my name, he counselled that if in life I succeeded in climbing to the top of the tree I should not shout “Look where I have got to!” – as apparently had done to him – lest folk should think I had to large a bump of self esteem.’


 

 

 

  1. WALTER ELEY, cousin of James Eley IV

 

Walter Eley was born on 21st November 1845 at Berkeley. He was at home for the 1851 and 1861 censuses and was for the first a seven-year-old scholar and for the second a seventeen-year-old Harness Maker. After spending time in the family business in Canonbury Street, Berkeley, he settled in London.

5-eley-v-gt-2-9-8

On 3rd June 1869 Walter married Rebecca Randle (1838-1898) in Coventry Registration District and they had three daughters Amy, Beatrice and Edith. I have unable to find the family in the 1871 census but in 1881 they were living at 192 Sloane Street where the head of the household on the night of the census was a young woman, Jane Willis Grey, an ‘Artist in Painting’. Presumably her parents were away. Walter was described as a lodger, aged thirty-seven-years and working as a Medical Electrician with the added details ‘Tutors – Med.’. He was born in Berkeley. Rebecca was aged thirty-nine years and was born in Coventry. Their children were Amy G. Eley an eleven year-old scholar; Beatrice M. aged eight and Edith M. aged six. All the children were born in Ventnor.

Ken Marling: Holiday notes May 1969:

‘In a list of members on the reformation of Christ Church Baptist Church, Ryde, on March 4th 1866, Mary, Henry, Elizabeth and Emily Grace were included. Henry was deacon on 1st April 1868 and retired from office on 6th April 1870. All but Mary were removed from the roll on 28th November 1872 with others, for removal or non-attendance.

Walter Eley was a member on 31st July 1887 and removed to the Church at the Literary Institute, Ventnor. This was probably the brother of James, and he was a corsetiere and had three wives! A Mrs Eley (late Miss Randle) was dismissed to the Church under Mr Wilkinson at Ventnor on 3rd November 1869.’

On the night of the 1891 census Walter Eley was staying with his brother Edward at 77 Blackpool Street, Burton-on-Trent. He was described as a forty-seven-year-old Commission Agent, born in Berkeley. Meanwhile, Rebecca Eley, his wife, was at 1 Air Street, London. She was described as fifty-years-old and born in Coventry. With her was Beatrice M. Eley, their seventeen-year-old daugh

ter, an ‘Apprentice Milliner – Show Room – Dress’, who was born in Ventnor.

On 17th November 1897 Walter’s daughter married and he was described as an Electrician and his address was 1 Air Street. In 1900 he was still living at 1 Air Street, Piccadilly and he wrote his Journal of the visit of the Four Eley Brothers to Gloucestershire.

Rebecca Eley died during the last quarter of 1897 aged fifty-eight-years in Westminster Registration District. In 1900 Walter married his second wife, Alice Weston Sanders, and had two sons, Walter and Edwin.

In the 1901 census return Walter Eley was living at 1 Air Street, London. He was described as a ‘Masseur sub mea’, aged fifty-six-years and born in Berkeley. Alice W. Eley, his wife, was aged thirty-two-years and born in St Pancras, London. She was a masseuse. Their domestic servant was Amy Cork who was born in St James, London.

Extracts from ‘An Account of a Meeting of the Four Eley Brothers in Gloucestershire on 17,18, 19 September 1900 by the Youngest, Walter Eley:

From Chapter 3

 

‘Great events, they say, from little causes spring. It came about in this way. Brother Edward intimated to me that some members of the family would very much like a photo group of the four Eley brothers, James, Henry, Edward and Walter, as they had seen a photo group of our three uncles, Charles, Richard and George Colenutt, our mother’s three surviving brothers.  The idea commended itself to us but it could only be brought about by us four brothers meeting together and being photographed. We mutually agreed to bring the meeting about if possible. For two or three years it was referred to when us two brothers met but nothing came of it. Various ideas occurred to me to secure the group, one idea was to get our photos singly and secure a photographer to make one group out of three. Another was to get a photo of either two of us and manipulate a group with two other single photos, the difficulty being we lived so far apart, James in Ryde, Henry in Bristol, Edward in Burton-on-Trent, and myself in London. The question was how could we all four meet and be photographed, to say nothing of the pleasure of us four brothers meeting together again after so many years of separation.

Edward and I resolved that, if possible, the meeting place should be Berkeley. Visiting James at Ryde on the August Bank Holiday 1900 we partly arranged to spend a week together in Gloucestershire. In the following month I wrote to Edward and he decided to join us if such a holiday came about. In deference to our brother Henry in Bristol, who was then in sad trouble through the loss of his only son who had met with a fatal accident in a motor car on the previous July, we finally decided the meeting place should be at his house. So it was arranged that us four brothers should assemble at our brother Henry’s house in Bristol on Monday 17 September 1900.

I looked forward to that meeting with much pleasure and delight. The arrangement being that I should leave London on Friday 14 September for Berkeley and Sharpness, James leave Ryde on Saturday 15 for Bristol, Edward to leave Burton-on-Trent the same day and join me to spend Sunday in Sharpness and Berkeley, then go to the great meeting in Bristol on Monday morning. So it came about that I left Paddington on the day arranged at 4 o’clock pm for Gloucestershire.’

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From Chapter Five: The Great Day – The Photograph

‘It was accomplished at last, all of us four brothers meeting together once more. We were each highly pleased at the fact, especially our brother Edward, for he was congratulating us all round, one after the other. “Pleased to see you brother James, and you Henry and Walt.” Laughing and chatting followed with a little pleasantry, and in the middle of it our sister Emily and George came in. Then the welcome and the mutual congratulations had to be gone over again and it was a meeting full of genuine pleasure and delight. We spent about an hour in this delightful manner, then we decided to go and be photographed.

First we went to a place in Park Street, we were not satisfied with either their style or price, so Henry took us to Holborn of Stokes Croft. We liked the place much better and decided for him to take us. We had some little difficulty in the grouping, they having installed me as the leader. I suggested that James and Henry, the two eldest, should be seated, and Edward and myself stand behind them. James said he and was not going to sit down, he wanted to stand. It being the duty of the youngest to give way to the eldest it was agreed that Edward and myself be seated and the two eldest stand behind us. As a result the group of us, the four Eley brothers was produced – depicted in the frontispiece of this book.

It is the universal opinion that it is an excellent group, well taken and faithful to likeness. It is not often that one sees four brothers of our age taken in such a manner, James being 67, Henry 60, Edward 58 and Walter 56. On the completion of the work Ted was especially profuse in his congratulations on the consummation of our plans. This took some time to complete, especially as James and Henry sat separately for their photos, the results of which are shown on the previous two pages.’

 

Chapter 6: The Next Day: Visit to Thornbury

 

Henry and myself were up betimes, and having partaken of a good breakfast we were off in good time for the Midland Railway, full of glad expectations and delight. We went by the train we had arranged, booking for Thornbury. On arriving at Mangotsfield Junction James and Edward were waiting for us on the platform. They joined us in our train as it was a through one for Thornbury. On arriving at Yate station we branched off on to the Thornbury line. Passing Iron Acton James was very interested in seeing the place where he had filled his first situation long years back. We soon arrived at Thornbury and most interesting it was. Our father’s town. We had all heard of it soon as we could remember, knew some of the names of old inhabitants from hearsay, and it was our delight to visit in our youth. Our grandfather, grandmother, uncles, aunts with cousins, many lived and died and were buried here. They all slept in the Baptist Chapel graveyard with our own father and mother, our sister Alice and our youngest brother Lewis George.

We called on cousin Emma Bruton, who with her brother Eli Bruton are the only two members of the old family left. Eli lives in Oldbury on Severn some five miles from Thornbury. We did not see him as he was unable to come to Thornbury that morning, but he sent his son to meet us. As boys we knew their father and mother James Bruton and his wife, good worthy folk. They and some of their children lie in the Chapel graveyard. We chatted with Emma of the old day folks and their times, and she had kindly provided refreshments for us. “I be so glad to see ee all again and such smart men too” was her comment on our personal appearance.

We then walked down the High Street, I suppose to the Plain at the bottom, had a good look at the house on the corner where grandfather and mother lived, and afterwards our aunts Elizabeth and Martha. I never saw them, but father was very fond of them. On their deaths these two houses became the property of my father. Then we visited the old Baptist Chapel and graveyard. A sacred place to me, the resting place of those who have established and maintained the service of God according to their consciences in this little meeting place. 1805 is the year marked on the outside gable, but it must have been established years before that. I have in my possession documents relating to the rebuilding or enlarging of the Chapel dated…(not entered in this book).

We entered the building, stood on the spot where we had all stood, felt a great reverence for the place, and thanked God for it. We then wandered in the graveyard and noted our father’s and mother’s grave, took down the names of all the Eleys buried there and now insert them (some are in error)

James Eley died 13 January 1803 aged 63 years (Born 1740)

James Eley died 5 September 1794 aged 4 years

(This must be my grandfather’s uncle born from the above figures in 1740, or it may be my great grandfather, but most probably my great uncle. The child may have been my father’s brother, as father used to say there were 2 03 of his brothers who died quite young, named James)

The following were grandfather’s brothers and sisters. As Aunt Sarah lived near Coombe near Wootton-under-Edge (sic) I presume the other two did likewise.

Mary Eley died 25 November 1838 aged 66 years (born 1772)

Thomas Eley died 7 December 1839 aged 70 years (born 1769)

Sarah Eley died 18 May 1862 aged 94 years (born 1768)

Then follows grandfather and his family-

James Eley died 6th December 1831 aged 69 years (born 1762)

Elizabeth Eley died 16 July 1814 aged 51 years (born 1763)

Their children –

James Eley died 24 October 1803 aged 5 months

Selina Eley died 12 June 1810 aged 18 years

Mary Eley died 14 May 1822 aged 21 years

Ann Eley died 2 December 1823 aged 27 years

Martha Eley died 9 January 1850 aged 63 years

Elizabeth Eley died 1 March 1850 aged 52 years

There were two other children. Uncle Thomas Eley and our father. There is no record of Uncle Thomas and his wife Aunt Sarah.

James Eley died at Berkeley 18 September 1861 aged 56 years

Ann Eley died at Bristol 18 July 1877 aged 57 years

Alice Eley died at Berkeley 11 March 1865 aged 19 years

Lewis George Eley died at Berkeley 11 March 1853 aged 19 months.

This of course, is our own dear father and mother, sister and brother, whose memory we sincerely revere and honour.’


  1. ALICE ELEY, cousin of James Eley IV

 

Alice Eley was born on 13th March 1846 and died on 11th March 1865.


  1. EMILY GRACE GREENING, cousin of James Eley IV

5-eley-v-gt-2-9-9-a 

Emily Eley was born on 5th January 1848 at Berkeley. She was at home for the 1851 and 1861 censuses and her age was given as three and thirteen respectively. Emily Grace went to work for John Lance, the Drapers of Cheltenham, and married George E. Greening of Clifton before 1873.

At the time of the 1871 census she was living in a company hostel at 125/126 Pittville Street and was described as a twenty-three-year-old Silk Mercer and Linen Draper’s Assistant, born in Berkeley. Also living in the same John Lance hostel was William Welstead who was of the same age as Emily and later became a Director of the form and a prominent local Catholic.

In 1881 we find them living at 67 Berkeley Road, Horfield, Bristol. George was away from home on the night of the census but Emily Grace was described as a thirty-three-year-old ‘Traveller’s Wife – Cooper Trade’. With her were her three daughters Blanch E. Eley aged seven years; Ethel L. aged five years and Kate E. aged three years. All three were born in Bishopston, Bristol.

In 1901 the Greenings were living at 8 Chertsey Road, Westbury, Bristol. George E. Greening was a fifty-two-year-old Carpet Agent born in Tibberton, Gloucestershire. Emily G. Greening was aged fifty-three-years and born at Berkeley. Their children included Blanche C. aged twenty-seven-years; Kate aged twenty-two-years; Elsie G. aged nineteen years and Lawrence aged nine years. All of them were born in Bristol. In residence was Ellen Andrews a general domestic servant.

Emily Grace Greening died on 9th June 1913.

Cheltenham Chronicle, Tuesday April 15, 1873:

 

Marriage: March 29th at the Parish Church, Westbury-on-Trym by the Rev. H. Mitchell, Mr. George E. Greening of Cheltenham, to Emily Grace, sixth daughter of the late Mr. James Eley of Berkeley.

Extracts from the Reminiscences of Frank George Marling:

 

‘In order that I might recuperate from my illness, Mother was invited to take me to Cheltenham to stay with her sister, my Aunt Emily, who was employed at Lances, the big Drapers, etc, and who lived somewhere on the outskirts of Cheltenham. We went to Lance’s shop, where I amused the young ladies in the showroom by picking up pins off the carpeted floor, and there Mother bought the silk for her dress, giving ten shillings a yard for it. We went one day to the Montpellier Gardens and saw the swans on the lake. Another day, Aunt Emily’s “young man”, Mr. George Greening, took us all, Aunt Emily, Mother and I, for a drive. We went past the “Rising Sun” so must have gone on Cleeve Hill. Cheltenham lay at our feet and the hill seemed to fall away so steeply that I wondered what would happen if the horse ran away and we toppled over!’

‘Then, when I was quite small, she (Grandmother Eley) and my youngest aunt, Aunt Fanny, went to live in Bristol, and on several occasions I went to stay with them. I enjoyed this very much, and used to roam about the City by myself. At other times going with Grandma to call on Uncle Edward or Aunt Emily (Mrs. Greening) who also lived in Bristol at that time.’

Extracts from Walter Eley’s Journal of 1900

 

‘We received a hearty welcome from him and Alice, and here it was accomplished at last, all of us four brothers meeting together once more. We were each highly pleased at the fact, especially our brother Edward, for he was congratulating us all round, one after the other. “Pleased to see you brother James, and you Henry and Walt.” Laughing and chatting followed with a little pleasantry, and in the middle of it our sister Emily and George came in. Then the welcome and the mutual congratulations had to be gone over again and it was a meeting full of genuine pleasure and delight. We spent about an hour in this delightful manner, then we decided to go and be photographed.’

‘Sister Emily joined us for tea and afterwards went with us to see Mrs. James Eley, widow of our cousin James. She lived in Montpelier. There were seven of us altogether, us four brothers, sister Emily Alice, Henry’s wife and her sister. We went a long distance by tram, then walked the rest of the way.


 

  1. FANNY DEARLOVE, cousin of James Eley IV

5 Eley V Gt 2 9 10 ac.jpg 

Fanny Eley was born on 25th October 1849 at Berkeley. She was at home for both the 1851 and 1861 censuses and was aged one year and eleven years respectively. In the former she was described as an infant and in the second a scholar.

On the night of the 1871 census Fanny was staying at 3 Highbury Parade, St Michael’s, Bristol, the home of her brother Henry Eley and his wife Harriet. Fanny was described as twenty-two-years-old, unmarried and born in Berkeley.

Ken Marling’s Holiday Notes of 1969:

James’ widow, Ann Colenutt, continued to live in Berkeley for some time after his death, and my father remembers going to her house in High Street. He records in his notes that early in the summer of 1867 she had to go to Thornbury to see her solicitor on some business connected with her late husband’s estate, but later went with her youngest daughter, Fanny Dearlove, to live in Bristol, and he records being fetched from school as his mother had been summoned to that city when her mother died in 1877. A letter from Oliver George Marling to his son Allan on March 19th 1874 while he was staying with an aunt in Bristol, enquires about Grandma, Aunt Fanny and others and is addressed to Wickselm Cottage, Berkeley Road, Horfield, Bristol. This seems to be where Ann was then living…’

She married Henry George Dearlove of London during the third quarter of 1883 in the St Pancras Registration District and they had two sons. In 1871 Henry Dearlove was a nineteen-year-old Linen Draper living in a company hostel at 151-156 Tottenham Court Road. Ten years earlier thirty-three-year-old Paula L. Dearlove, a widow, Dyer and Scourer (?) was living at High Street, Putney, with her nine-year-old son Henry G. Dearlove, who was born in St James, London.

In the 1891 census return Fanny and Henry G. Dearlove were living at 9 Carlton Street, Hornsey, Middlesex. He was described as a thirty-nine-year-old draper’s assistant born in Westminster. Fanny was forty and born in Berkeley. Their sons were Henry G. Dearlove, aged twelve years, and Albert E. Dearlove, aged ten years and both were born in St Pancras.

In 1901 Henry and Fanny were living at 18 Oakley Square, Old St Pancras. Henry was a forty-nine-year-old Draper’s Manager, born in St James. Fanny was aged fifty-one-years and born in Berkeley. Their son Henry, was aged twenty-two-years and described as a Hosier’s Assistant, born in St Pancras.

Fanny Dearlove died on 17th January 1918.

Extract from the Reminiscences of Frank George Marling:

‘Then, when I was quite small, she (Grandmother Eley) and my youngest aunt, Aunt Fanny, went to live in Bristol, and on several occasions I went to stay with them. I enjoyed this very much, and used to roam about the City by myself. At other times going with Grandma to call on Uncle Edward or Aunt Emily (Mrs. Greening) who also lived in Bristol at that time.’


  1. LEWIS GEORGE ELEY, Infant Cousin of James Eley IV

 

Lewis Eley was born in August 1851 and died on 11th March 1853.


 

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS FAMILY CONTACT: btsarnia@gmail.com

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