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Robert Parker READ
published by Paul Tregelles on Sun, 14/06/2020 - 7:46

Robert Parker Read's parents were Henry & Roberta Johanna Read and I believe Robert was born the 3rd July 1855 in Axbridge and  was baptised on the 16th February 1858. 

I know Henry & Roberta Johanna Read are buried in Axbridge church, and I was wondering whether anyone knows whether the Robert Read also buried there in May 1883 is their son, Robert Parker Read?



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South Parade and The Bath Hotel (later Imperial, now Olea)
published by Honey Langcaster-James on Mon, 08/06/2020 - 9:59

Hi everyone, 

I am researching South Parade in Weston-super-Mare at the moment. Several of my ancestors lived and owned property there in the early 1800s. 

I have found this lovely old photograph and thanks to Pat, I have the Tithe map. I don't know much about architecture or historic dating, but I'm trying to establish in what order these buildings were built. Shown on the left is Myrtle Cottage (demolished in around 1860 to make way for the bank). Then Bath Hotel, and then properties on South Parade. The numbering of the properties appears to go from right to left here, with Myrtle Cottage having been at 8 South Parade I believe. 

Does anyone know if that would indicate that the properties on the right were built first? And then the Hotel and then Myrtle Cottage? Or does the architecture and style of these buildings suggest that Myrtle Cottage was built first, then the Hotel added next to that, and then the terraced properties later? I'd be very grateful for anyone's thoughts and ideas on this.

I would also love some help in interpreting the Tithe Map a bit more. Are the darker black lines the outlines of the buildings? If so, it would seem that Myrtle 'Cottage' at 440 on the map was a substantial building? Bigger in square footage than the hotel next door? I have an electoral register which says Richard Fry owned properties at numbers 5 and 8 in South Parade. This would suggest that number 5 was at 436 on this map and number 8 was both Bath Hotel and Myrtle Cottage? Anyone know if this would have been how they'd be organised? 

Finally, I am no botanist, but I note from the photo that the properties Richard Fry owned all seem to have a great deal of greenery, and with the name Myrtle Cottage, does anyone recognise whether these are Myrtle bushes/trees?

Thank you in advance for any thoughts you may have on any of this!


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Foreman of the Norwich Union Firemen
published by gricharduk on Wed, 03/06/2020 - 14:09

Hello everyone and I hope you are all well,

Does anyone know what a foreman of the Norwich Union Firemen did? Were they just agents of the Norwich Union (selling fire insurance), loss adjusters, or actually put out the fires?! The person involved claims (in a newspaper report) to have had this position for 9 years from about 1820 - They were also a master (chimney) sweep.

I have not heard of the term "foreman" before (in this context) and I haven't turned-up much through searches. Any help/ideas gratefully received.



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FRY 1780-1855
published by Honey Langcaster-James on Wed, 03/06/2020 - 10:52
My ancestor Richard FRY (1780-1855), one of the 'Weston Worthies', was one of the original four men to finance the building of The Hotel in Weston (now The Royal Hotel) along with PARSLEY and COX the main men behind the project. He went on to manage the hotel himself for a while in around 1818 (and it became Fry's Hotel), then at some point he went on to buy another premises on South Parade which became The Bath Hotel. Then he moved next door to a building called Myrtle Cottage which he ran as a lodging house till his death. He was also one of the early Town Commissioners and his son-in-law, Joseph JAMES, was also a key local figure and builder who worked at Knightstone for Dr Fox for many years. You can read everything I know about Richard FRY already, over on my own blog about him if you're interested, here:

My reason for posting here is that I would love to find out much more about Richard FRY and his life. In particular, I am curious about his role in the establishment of the original hotel. He must have been relatively wealthy but I can't figure out how or what his background was. I also wonder whether there was a company set up to manage the shares in the enterprise, perhaps he only played a small part? I have no idea how he came to be involved in the hotel project in the first place or how he knew the other men involved.
I do know he was living in Clifton before moving to Weston, and he seems to have been living in another hotel in Sion Row there. However, I don't know the name of that and I don't know what he was doing there before he invested in Weston. The Hotel was built in 1808, but he didn't actually go to manage it until around 1818, so I'm curious as to what he was doing all that time.
I basically haven't been able to find out anything else about his earlier life, other than the fact that he was born in Bisley, Gloucestershire, he had a wife, Elizabeth FRY (nee MAIDEN), and they had two children after ten years of marriage, who they named Elizabeth and Richard. Elizabeth married my 3 X Great Grandfather, Joseph James, and Richard emigrated to New Zealand. I have one clue that the FRYs may have been involved in an Odd Fellows organisation, and I know Joseph JAMES was a non-conformist, so they may have been too, but I don't know anything else really.
I would love to know much more about the history of the main Hotel in Weston in general. For example, what it was like when he was there, and also The Bath Hotel too. Apparently this was originally known as 'The Mason's Arms' but I can't find anything at all about that, so I don't know who actually built it or why it then later became known as The Bath Hotel (even later, The Imperial).
I also haven't even been able to locate a will for Richard FRY to see what happened to his property and who it all subsequently went to. If anyone has any ideas on how I can find that, that would be hugely appreciated? I believe Richard and his wife Elizabeth were buried in St John's graveyard, and with me living a long way away from Weston, if anyone is visiting the church or the graveyard and could see if there's a headstone you could possibly photograph for me, I would love to see that? In fact, any information or any further clues that anyone might have for the FRY family, would be very gratefully received! I'd also love to hear from fellow descendants, and I have done my DNA on Ancestry if anyone would like to see if we are a match!
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what's in a name
published by Brian Airey on Sat, 16/05/2020 - 14:31

St Mary, Whitechapel records show baptism of Henry CHRICHARD, son of Thomas & Sarah (nee SHALLEY)  of Lambeth on 22 September 1765.An indenture dated 1783 shows Henry, son of Thomas CHRICHARD apprenticed to a hatter.

On 9th November 1788 Henry CHRICHARD married Hannah LOOKER in St Olave, Southwark. A Hannah Gordon LOOKER was born 1 March 1771 and baptised 24 March 1771 daughter of Stephen and Penelope (nee CAPORN) LOOKER. No other record mentions “Gordon” and I can’t find any relative with that as a surname. This would appear to be the same Hannah, as she is recorded as being buried aged 76yrs in 1846 in Australia, See later.

Land Tax records for St Olave show Henry at Maze East side and Maze Baptist records show burial of Henry CHRICHARD aged 68yrs on 3 January 1834. 

Henry and Hannah had 9 children, 3 of whom had “Freeman” as a second christian name. I can find no reason for this addition. Where would this have come from? 

Elizabeth CHRICHARD was baptised on 22 July 1792 in Aldergate. An Elizabeth Freeman CHRICHARD married William CREW on 21 April 1817 in St Mary’s church, Newington.  Witnesses included a Mary GLANNON and Henry CHRICHARD. 

Hannah Freeman CHRICHARD was baptised 1795 and a Hannah CHRICHARD aged 2years was buried in 1797.

 Jane Freeman CHRICHARD was baptised 7 October 1798 in St Saviour, Southwark. She is shown as a daughter of Henry, a hatter, and Hannah CHRICHARD. 

Mary Ann CHRICHARD, baptised 11 February 1805 in St Saviours, Southwark married Alexander FRASER on 17 March 1831. The witnesses were sister Jane and brother in law William CREW.  The FRASERS and “Miss CRITCHARD” arrived in Hobart, Tasmania on the barque “Rubicon” in June 1832. They went into partnership as milliners. 

On 1 September 1832 Ann Maria CHRICHARD married William Daniel CHARD, a master mariner, in Hobart. Alexander FRASER and William HEATH were witnesses. Can we assume the “Miss CRITCHARD” above was Ann Maria? 

It would appear that Hannah, nee LOOKER, and two children followed the above to Hobart about 1834, although there is no record of their departure or arrival yet found. 

A Jane Buckland CHRICHARD married Hugh MCLIVER (or MCLIVEN) in Hobart on 26 February 1839. Witnesses were Alexr & Mary FRASER.  If so, when did the “Freeman” change to “Buckland”? 

Jemima Isabella CHRICHARD married William HEATH on 11 August 1840 in Hobart. Witnesses were Alexr & Mary Ann FRASER. 

St Andrews Presbyterian records show Hannah CHRICHARD died 23 March 1846 and is buried in the same plot as her grandchild Hannah Janet FRASER who died 24 October 1842.

Alexander FRASER became a member of the Legislative Council in Melbourne.  A notice in The Mercury, Hobart on 5 February 1877 shows the death of “FRASER – on 28th inst at “Aldourie”, St Kilda, Mary Ann Glannon aged 66yrs, dearly beloved wife of Alexander FRASER M.L.C”  Is this the Mary GLANNON who witnessed the marriage of Elizabeth CHRICHARD & William CREW? Where did “Glannon” come from?  Alexander FRASER died at the same address in 1888.

 Brian & Pam


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Locking Road School 1936
published by daveerasmus on Mon, 11/05/2020 - 12:07

Attached (at the foot of the page) is a photograph - taken, we think, in 1936 - of the Locking Road School class that my mother was in. Her name was Thelma PARKER and she has asked me to post this. Although she was 90 a few months ago, she can recall the names of most of the children. Obviously I can't name them on here in case they are still alive - hopefully many of them are. Mum would be interested to know if anyone can identify themself or a parent/grandparent?

Mum is sitting at the very front, third from the left, with the black hair.


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