A tribute to the life and work of Brian Torode

Rowland Wyatt (1871-1958), builder of Kingswood

Samuel Wyatt, labourer of Sinwell, Wotton-under-Edge and Anne


Rowland Wyatt I, mason of Sinwell and Elizabeth Evans


Rowland Wyatt II, builder of Kingswood

Rowland Wyatt, builder of Kingswood, Wotton-under-Edge

Rowland Wyatt II (1871-1958) was born in Sinwell, Wotton-under-Edge,  on 12th August 1871. He was the son of Rowland Wyatt I (1841-1930) and his wife Elizabeth, nee Evans. Rowland Wyatt I and Elizabeth Evans were married at Wotton Parish Church on 20th October 1866. At the time of the marriage, Rowland was described on the certificate as a mason of Sinwell, son of Samuel Wyatt, a clothworker, and Elizabeth as a wool picker, daughter of a labourer, William Evans. Neither Rowland or Samuel were able to sign their names.

When the elder elder Rowland was baptised at Wotton-under-Edge Parish Church on 2nd February 1841 his parents were given as Samuel and Anne Wyatt and the father’s occupation was given as ‘labourer’ and their home was given as ‘Sinwell.’

Rowland Hill.jpg

Rev Rowland Hill

It seems plausible that the unusual family forename, Rowland, was given in honour of the Reverend Rowland Hill (1744-1833) who first preached to a large crowd at Wotton-under-Edge on the evening of 16th June 1771 and then established his tabernacle in the town some months later.

At the time of the 1881 census Rowland Wyatt senior was described as a forty-year-old stone mason, who had been born born in Wotton. His wife was aged thirty-five and her place of birth was listed as Hawkesbury. Their children were all born in Wotton, namely William aged sixteen, Samuel aged twelve, Rowland aged nine, Emily aged seven, Amy aged five months and Frederick aged five years.

Ten years later, in 1891, the younger Rowland Wyatt was still living at home with his parents. Rowland, was by now aged twenty, he was still single and he working as a stone mason, probably with his father. His siblings included Emily aged eighteen, who worked as a wool cloth weaver, Frederick aged fifteen, Amy aged ten, Ada aged eight, Albert aged six and Frank aged four. Their father was now fifty and their mother forty-six.

Rowland Wyatt junior married Ellen Louisa Terrett, a first cousin of William Edward Terrett, on 6th April 1896, at Kingswood. The marriage certificate states that he was a twenty-four-year-old mason, son of Rowland Wyatt, a mason. At the time of the wedding Rowland was living at Charfield. His bride was from Kingswood and she was described as aged twenty-three and a daughter of Daniel Terrett. The witnesses were Daniel and Alice Terrett.

Rowland’s first wife, Ellen Louisa Terrett, was baptised on 1st June 1873 at Kingswood. In the 1881 census return she had been at home with her parents, aged eight years. She was attending school and she had been born at Kingswood. Ten years later, at the time of the 1891 census, she was ‘in service,’ working at 147 Whiteladies Road, Bristol, the home of Joseph Almond, a retired iron merchant. She was described as being their nineteen-year-old nurse and domestic servant. Her place of birth was again given as Kingswood.

Their marriage was short as Ellen Wyatt died on 9th April 1900, aged twenty-seven-years ,and she was buried on 14th April 1900 at Kingswood.

During the following year, the census reveals that Rowland Wyatt II was living at Crowmeadow, Kingswood. He was described as a widower, of twenty-nine-years, a stone mason and as a native of Sinwell, Wotton-under-Edge. Staying with him as a lodger was nineteen-year-old millwright and worker, Frederick Terrett, born in Kingswood. Rowland and Ellen’s child, Florence Winifred Wyatt, was staying with her Terrett grandparents at Walk Mills on the night of the census. She was described in the return as four-years-old and born at Charfield.

Looking closely at the 1901 census return, it is interesting to see that next door to Rowland Wyatt, in Crowmeadow, lived Albert Vick, an elastic web weaver, and boarding with him was a twenty-nine-year-old spinster, Louie Foster. She was described as an ‘overlooker in silk winding’ and her place of birth was given as Braintree in Essex. Next door to where Louie was boarding was her sister, Mary Emma, and her brother-in-law, Arthur Frank Howell. Arthur was at the time aged twenty-nine-years, he was working as a ‘warehouse man’ and his place of birth was given as Wotton-under-Edge. His wife, Mary Emma Howell, was described as aged thirty-one years and ‘a line woman in silk winding’.

The Howells had married at St George’s, Brandon Hill, Bristol, on 14th May 1898 and they would become significant in this story as Rowland Wyatt II married Louisa (Louie) Foster on 11th October 1902 at St Thomas’s Church, Eastville, Bristol.

So who was Louisa Foster? Research has shown that she was born on 5th October 1871 and that her family came from Essex. Her parents were William and Emma Foster and, on the night of the 1871 census, they were living in Reyne Road, Bocking, Essex. William was listed in the return as aged thirty-nine and working as a silk weaver. He was born at Coggeshall. Emma, his wife, was aged thirty-seven and she had been born at Great Saling. Louie was yet to be born but her elder sister, Mary E. Foster (later Howell), was listed, aged one year and born at Patricroft in Lancashire.

By 1881 the Foster family had moved to 80 Lower Railway Street, Braintree. William was still a silk weaver, now aged fifty and listed as born at Coggeshall, Essex. Emma was forty-seven and her place of birth was recorded as Great Saling, Essex. Mary Foster, William’s mother, was living with them and she was aged seventy and had been born at Great Tey, Essex. The Foster children included May Emma, aged eleven, born at Patricroft, Lancashire; Louisa, aged nine, and born at Bocking, Essex; James William, aged seven and born at Bocking and Samuel Charles aged six, and born at Bocking.

In 1891 we find Louisa Foster and her elder sister, Mary Emma, living in Malmesbury High Street. Mary E. Foster was now aged twenty-seven, working as a silk weaver and listed as born in Manchester. Louisa Foster was aged nineteen, a silk weaver and born at Braintree in Essex.

Staying with the Foster siblings I have discovered that a James Foster was boarding in Braintree and working as a baker in 1891. Seven years later, in 1898, James William Foster married Jane Tunbridge. James was an army man so Jane would appear to have spent the night of the 1901 census without her husband at their home in Rifle Hill, Black Notley. Her details were given as aged twenty-eight and ‘living on her own means’. Her children included James, aged two years, and Jenny E. Foster, aged eight months.

In 1911 James and Jane Foster were living in four rooms at 22 Rifle Hill, Black Notley. James was by now thirty-eight and described as ‘army pensioner’ and born at Bocking. His wife, Jane, was the same age and born at Braintree. They had been married for thirteen years and had eight children all of whom were born at Great Notley and all had survived. They included Ethel, aged eleven; Florence aged eight, Bertha aged six, Frank aged five, Bertie aged three, Leonard aged one and Mary aged eight months.

Finally, we come to Louisa’s brother, Sam Foster, who served in the Boer War. I have two mementos which were given to me. The first is a piece of khaki, presumably sent to Louisa, from Sam ‘With fondest love – Torn from my coat – I send to thee – This worn piece of old khaki 1902’. It goes on to outline the victories of the Essex Regiment in the Boer War. The second item is a silk towel listing all the engagements of the 1st Battalion of the Essex Regiment.

Foster WWIa.jpg

Foster WWIb.jpg

Boer War Memento send to Louisa Foster

Foster WWIc.jpg

Returning to Rowland and Louisa Wyatt, they had three children, namely, Arthur Rowland (1903-4), who died aged seven months, Olive (1904-1980), and May Myrtle Wyatt (1909-). In a 1903 Trade Directory Rowland Wyatt was described as a mason of Kingswood and by the following year the family had moved to an address in Hillesley Road, Kingswood. He was still working from the Hillesley Road address in 1921 but ‘Rowndy’ and ‘Louie’ later purchased ‘Ashleigh’, a former bakery, in Kingswood High Street.

The 1911 census return offers us a more detailed picture of the Wyatts. Rowland and Louisa were then living with their family in a house with four rooms at Hillesley Road, Kingswood. Rowland was by then aged thirty-nine-years, he had been married for eight years and they had had their three children, one of whom had died. He was described as a ‘Mason – House Building’, working ‘on his own account’ and he was listed as born at Sinwell. His wife, Louisa, was aged thirty-nine-years and listed as born at Braintree. The children included Rowland’s daughter, Florence, aged fourteen years, born at Charfield, and working as a dressmaker with her stepmother. Olive Wyatt was aged six years and May Wyatt just one year, both were listed as born at Kingswood.

In the same census, Arthur Frank Howell and his wife Mary Emma were living in a house with six rooms at Crowmeadow. Arthur was described as a thirty-nine-year-old ‘Elastic Factory Warehouseman’, born in Wotton, and Mary Emma was shown as aged forty-one and born at Patricroft. Their daughter, Edith Louise Howell, was listed as aged eight and born at Kingswood. She had been born on 24th April 1902 and baptised at Kingswood Church on 28th May in the same year.

Kingswood War Memorial.jpg

Kingswood War Memorial

Rowland Wyatt was a Master Builder and he was responsible for erecting the War Memorial at Kingswood. The architect, Percy Tubbs, specified the use of Japanese oak for the construction but Wyatt thought that it would take too long to obtain. It is said that he used English oak blackened in a manure heap at some local farm. This was only the beginning. Wyatt wrote, ‘I have explained enough times and if you want further information you must refer to the architect. I venture to say that I have had more bother over this building than any other job I have ever done’.

The 1939 Register of England and Wales lists Rowland and Louisa Wyatt as living at Ashleigh, High Street, Kingswood and with them was their daughter, Olive. Rowland was described as a retired builder.

Louisa Wyatt probably died in 1954 and Rowland Wyatt died on 13th January 1958 aged 86 years and he is buried at Kingswood. Louisa’s sister, Mary Emma Howell, probably died in 1946.

The daughter Rowland and Ellen Wyatt:


‘Flo’ was born on 23rd December 1897 and in the 1901 census return she was listed as aged four years, born at Charfield, and living with her Terrett grandparents at Walk Mills, Kingswood. In 1911 Flo was living with her father, aged fourteen years, and described as born at Charfield and doing dressmaking for Mrs Wyatt her step mother. Flo was a beneficiary in her grandfather’s will of 1920.

Flo married Wilfrid Eustace Fry on 15th October 1921 at Kingswood. Wilfred was born in Charfield on 19th January 1899 and he had served in the Yorkshire Regiment having enlisted at Cheltenham in 1916. At the time of his enlistment he was working as a tramway inspector and aged seventeen years and eight months and he was living at Rosedale, Granley Road, Cheltenham. In later years Wilfred was a miller of Ivybridge in Devon. Wilfred Eustace Fry died in Torbay Registration District during the second quarter of 1985 aged eighty-six-years.

Their daughter, Molly, was born in 1923 and, in 1947, she married William Charles Bowden of Ivybridge.

At the time of the 1939 Register of England and Wales, the Frys were living at Kingswood, Westover, Plympton St. Mary, and Wilfred was described as a ‘Corn and Agricultural Merchant’ and Flo was carrying out ‘Unpaid Domestic Duties.’

Having divorced, Flo married Richard Lindon Partridge during the second quarter of 1953. He was the son of Alfred A. Partridge, a horse-breaker. Richard was working as a horse trainer at Bridge House, Plympton, when he enlisted in the Royal 1st Devon Imperial Yeomanry in 1908. He was re-engaged by the Yeomanry in March 1915 at Teignmouth having already served for six years.

Richard Partridge died at Greenbank Hospital, Plymouth, on 6th July 1962 and was described as then living at 13 Western Road, Ivybridge. Probate was granted at Exeter to {his younger brother) Norman Augustus Partridge, a retired victualler, on 27th July and his effects were valued at £2262-5-2d.

Every weekend Flo’s sister, Olive, would drive their father down to Ivybridge to help them build their bungalow.

The children of Rowland and Louisa Wyatt:


Arthur Rowland was baptised on 13th September 1903 at Kingswood and buried on 12th March 1904 at Kingswood, aged seven months.


Olive Wyatt was born on 24th December 1904 and baptised on 25th January 1905 at Kingswood Parish Church. At the time of the 1911 census she was aged six and living at home with her parents. Later Olive was educated at Katherine Lady Berkeley’s Grammar School at Wotton.

7 Terrett II Gt 8 9 t

Olive Wyatt

During the 1920’s Olive ran a confectionery business near the Abbey Gateway in Kingswood High Street. However, by the time of the 1939 Register of England and Wales, she was still living at home with her parents at Ashleigh, High Street, but carrying out ‘unpaid domestic duties.’

7 Terrett II Gt 8 9 s

Kingswood Abbey Gateway.jpg

On 5th March 1947 Olive Wyatt married William Edward Terrett at Stroud Registry Office. William was a cousin of Flo’s mother and he was described as a ‘Toolmaker at an Electrical Engineers.’ The witnesses were C. J. Symonds and B.M. Smith. After their marriage Olive and Bill lived at Box Road, Cam, until they moved to ‘Ashleigh’, her father’s home, in about 1956. It would seem that Olive had been travelling nearly every day from Cam to Kingswood so that she could care for her father.

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Bill and Olive Terrett

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Olive Terrett at Estcourt, Box Road, Cam

Rowland Wyatt died on 13th January 1958 and, after his death, Olive and Bill remained at ‘Ashleigh’ and, for a time, Bill’s brother, George Terrett, lodged with them.

7 Terrett II Gt 8 9 ya

After Bill Terrett died in 1965 Olive moved into Ashleigh Cottage, the former bake house. Here she lived until her death on 25th May 1980 at Manor Park Hospital, Bristol. Her ashes were buried at Kingswood Cemetery.

Obituary Notice:

‘Terrett, Olive. – Of Ashleigh Cottage, High Street, Kingswood, Wotton-under-Edge, passed peacefully away on Sunday, May 25th, aged 75 years. The funeral took place on Friday, May 30th.’


May Myrtle (Wyrtle in Church register) Wyatt was born in 17th April 1909 and baptised at Kingswood on 16th May 1909. On 9th June 1931 she married John Price, a funeral director from Wanswell, but their relationship ended in divorce.

Gloucester Journal, 13th June 1931,

Price-Wyatt: June 9th, at Dursley, Francis Henry John, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Price of Wanswell, Berkeley, to May Myrtle, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Rowland Wyatt, Kingswood, Wotton-under-Edge.

Francis Henry John Price, the son of Walter Henry Price, a carpenter of Wanswell, and his wife Martha Elizabeth, was born on 20th December 1909 and baptised at Berkeley on 13th March 1910.

The 1939 Register of England and Wales reveals that Francis and May were living at ‘The Flat’, Dayhouse Yard, Wotton Road, Kingswood. Francis H. J. Price was described as a ‘Maintenance Mechanic and P.S.V. Driver’ and his wife was listed as carrying out unpaid domestic duties. Their son, Walter H.J. Price, born on 12th May 1933, was at school.

May Price died in 1948 within the Stroud Registration District and her former husband probably died in 1977 somewhere in the Cirencester Registration District.


2 comments on “Rowland Wyatt (1871-1958), builder of Kingswood

  1. kethuprofumo
    October 17, 2019

    A piece of alive history! Wonderful post, dear Richard!

  2. Richard Barton
    October 18, 2019

    Jackie Bailey writes:

    I am researching Dorcas Wyatt’s family, who was born about 1848 who is Rowland’s sister, who was born about 1841.

    On Dorcas marriage certificate it refers to the father as Samuel, but I cannot find him on the census. Her brother’s name was Samuel so he could have given her away.

    I presume that her father died between 1847-1851, which was well before her marriage in 1868. I need another source to confirm that her father’s name is Samuel.

    Dorcas Wyatt married Emanuel Albert cousins on Boxing Day 1868 at Dursley Tabernacle in Gloucestershire. They lived at Hungerhill in Dursley and had children called Alice, Edith, Florence and George. The family moved to Stapleford in Nottinghamshire and had Sarah. The family then moved to South Kirkby in Yorkshire and had more children called Fred, Ethelbert Cousins. They moved to South Elmsall also in Yorkshire where they had one more child called Victor. Emanuel
    worked on the railways eventually becoming the stationmaster at Hemsworth. Their daughter Sarah married a local hairdresser called John Lee in 1900. They lived with John’s brother Charles at Market Street in Hemsworth. They had children Charles (my Granddad), Joe, Robert, Cynthia, Aileen, George, Ernest

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