Posts Tagged ‘1878’

Beatrice Bolter Married.

May 21, 2015

This blog post has been sparked off by a brief message in Ben Hayward’s wonderful record of his life. We have an electronic copy of this. Ben lived at Kestrels in Easterton for the second half of the nineteenth century and recorded village events, his farming program and, often, what bird life he saw. Here’s our extract – one line from 122 pages.

Beatrice Bolter married - an extract from Ben Hayward's note book. Click to enlarge

Beatrice Bolter married – an extract from Ben Hayward’s note book.
Click to enlarge

This gives us one simple fact – Beatrice Bolter married on August 28th 1878.

But it begs many questions such as:

Who was Beatrice Bolter?
Where did she live?
Who did she marry?
Where did they live?

Well Ben has given us something to start with – a marriage date and a name and we can quickly discover – and no surprise about it – that Beatrice’s marriage was recorded in the Devizes district. With the odd way in which marriages are recorded we have two possible spouses William Kyte or Joseph Webb. If we purchased a marriage certificate that would tell us which one it was, but we won’t do that – a real waste of museum money. Instead we’ll find out using censuses.

The first census we used is from well before the marriage, but it seemed a fair bet that a lass who married in 1878 was around for the 1861 census and we can find Beatrice on that census on High Street, Market Lavington with an age of 3 years so born about 1858. Her father was a grocer – a shopkeeper.

We can use that information to trace Beatrice on censuses after she was married. We searched the 1891 census for anyone called Beatrice born in Market Lavington in 1858 plus or minus a year. We find a Beatrice Webb married to Joseph so the ‘which of the two marriage riddle’ is solved. She married Joseph Webb. By 1891 the Webb family lived in Brentford in West London and Bromham (in Wiltshire) born Joseph was a carpenter and joiner. No doubt that was a trade much needed in rapidly expanding London. The Webbs had probably lived in that part of the world for all of their married life for the eldest of their five children, also called Beatrice was 11 and born in Hounslow.

Twice before we have tried to find further information about a Webb family in Easterton. These probably are not related but do get in touch if you can tell us anything further.


Banksian Medals

September 30, 2013


The Royal Horticultural Society issue Banksian medals to worthy horticulturalists. One is awarded each year to the person who gets most points in the local show’s horticulture classes – the fruit, flowers and vegetables. This means there is nothing particularly rare about them.

But one of them, in the museum, was awarded to James Lye, the Market Lavington and Easterton based fuchsia breeder. That one is special to us at Market Lavington Museum.

A Banksian medal at Market Lavington Museum

A Banksian medal at Market Lavington Museum

One side has a profile of the man the medal is named after – Joseph Banks. We can’t do justice to Joseph here. He was a top botanist of his day, was on Cook’s first voyage of discovery and is very much numbered amongst the great and the good.

The other side of the medal (more like a crown sized coin) is engraved with the winner’s name and the reason for the award.


The award was to James Lye and was awarded by the Bath Horticultural Show in 1878 for fuchsias.

The award was to James Lye and was awarded by the Bath Horticultural Show in 1878 for fuchsias.

I wonder if James was annoyed that the engraver got the spelling of Fuchsias wrong!

In 1878 when this medal was awarded, James was the gardener at Clyffe Hall for Louisa Hay.

The other day our curator met Kristopher Harper who holds the National Fuchsia Collection and is actively involved in researching everything to do with James Lye. Kristopher hopes to trial some fuchsia growing at Clyffe Hall to test his theory that James Lye cultivars were fairly hardy plants that could survive the winter. That will be interesting to report on.

But as this post is really about Banksian medals, let’s see a recent one – not in the museum – as issued to a flower show winner.


Well, it isn’t the same material, but no real change in design.


It looks as though the engraving is not as classy these days – but the spelling is correct.