Weston Worthies published by Richard Manning on Mon, 20/08/2012 - 10:04
I was interested in the 'More "Weston Worthies"' article by Pat Hase in the June 2012 Journal and made a visit to the Weston Museum to see them but unfortunately the paintings are not on show at the moment. Does anyone have a list of all of the sitters in the series?
I have a list of the Weston Worthies. There are 40 of them and there is a pencilled name on the back of each but as we are not sure when that name was written there is a little doubt over the identity of some of them. At least two of the names have proved to be incorrect. One labelled as William MILES has been identified from other paintings as his father Philip John MILES. Ann GIBBONS said on the back to be the first postmistress in Weston is most probably her daughter Mary GIBBONS.
I understand that the paintings are currently in the Somerset Heritage Centre at Taunton while work is being undertaken at Weston Museum. Please contact me if you have an interest in any particular name - I have done some basic research on the majority of them and am keen to add to it if possible.
The Weston Worthies are a series of about 40 portraits in the Weston Museum (not always on show) which were painted in the mid 1800s of men and women who were important in Weston at that time.
As far as I know Richard FRY was worn in Bisley, Gloucestershire in about 1870 and married Elizabeth MAIDEN in Bristol in 1804.
They moved to Weston and he financed the building of the first Hotel in Weston and the rebuilding of the Parish Church in 1824. Some features from the old church can still be seen in Weston as part of a house in Victoria Cottage, 7, South Terrace which was build by his son-in-law, Joseph James, in about 1838. Both Richard and his wife died in Myrtle Cottage in the 1850s and were buried in the church yard of St John the Baptist Church, Weston-super-Mare - see our transcriptions for details.
This portrait is wonderful to see here in colour! Richard Fry was my Gt Gt Gt Gt Grandfather... Incredibly he looks just like my own father Brian James!! There is a real family resemblance here! I also have a picture of his wife Elizabeth Fry (nee Maiden), see below. I am currently researching the Fry family and the James family of Weston-super-Mare in the late 1700s and 1800s. I'd be really interested to learn more and hear from anyone else who may be descendants or interested in these families. I'm also interested in Sidney Jones and his family. I understand he was a tailor in Regent Street, Weston-super-Mare during the 1800s and he was also my Gt Gt Gt Grandfather. Following the death of my Gt Gt Grandfather Alfred James and his wife Hannah James (nee Jones) I believe he took in Sidney James his grandson who was my Gt Grandfather. I also understand that he had an observatory above his tailor's shop, but I don't know much else about him or the Jones family line. Please do get in touch if you are reading this and have any further information. Best wishes, Honey
It depends how much you already know - as he is your ancestor you probably know more than we do!. We thnk he was born in about 1812 and was christened in Bray in Berkshire (near Maidenhead). His parents were John & Ann MARTILL and he married twice - first time to Sarah Esther GILDERSON in 1836 and after she died he married Ann WATKINS. He had eleven children by his first wife and a further three by his second. Where do you fit in?
Thanks for your reply. I did know most of that, except for his first wife's maiden name, and I didn't know he'd had eleven children with her. I have counted seven.
The second youngest of these, Ellen, was my great grandmother.
I noted that his occupation was given as "agent to JHS Pigott"and wondered what that meant. I have read a bit about Pigott.
In the 1861 census Ellen and the youngest child Albert are missing from their fathers residence and I've been trying to find out what happened to them at that time.
Not sure which children you have missed but three of them were born and died between censuses and their baptisms and burials can be seen on our transcriptions of the Parish Records of St John's Church. In 1854 Frederick's mother and wife died within days of each other - both buried in Weston - and in 1861 the two youngest children can be found elsewhere. Albert, as a pupil at an Industrial Training School in Bristol. This usually meant that pupils had had a brush with the law and were sent there as a punishment but there was a court case in 1860 where Frederick was charged with ill treating Albert (see newspapers for details) - this was dismissed but Frederick MARTILL was warned not to correct his son so harsely if he misbehaved. This may be be why he was sent to this school. Ellen (entered as Sarah Ellen) is staying with an Aunt in Clevedon in 1861.
John Hugh Smyth PIGOTT was the local Squire and Landowner - in this instance I'm not sure what role an Agent might have been - perhaps Frederick as an Inn Keeper might have supplied him with alchohol? Agents usually were the local representative of the Squire and worked on his behalf if necessary. Does anyone have any suggestions?