Posts Tagged ‘1895’

A chapel centenary

June 24, 2016

Yes, a chapel centenary, but not in Market Lavington or Easterton. In fact this chapel was in Bristol and when they celebrated their centenary they produced a medallion. One of them was lost in Market Lavington and found by a metal detectorist.

Medallion found in Market Lavington

Medallion found in Market Lavington

The front of the medallion has an image we believe is John Wesley. It has the message, ‘The best of all is God is with us’. This is reported as being what John Wesley said as he died.

The reverse has more information.

The medallion commemorates the centenary of the Ebenezer Wesleyan Chapel , Bristol in 1895

The medallion commemorates the centenary of the Ebenezer Wesleyan Chapel , Bristol in 1895

First of all we can see that at some time this medallion was converted to what would have been a cumbersome and heavy pin brooch. The remnants are over the top of some of the writing but we can make it out. This medallion commemorated the centenary of the Ebenezer Wesleyan Chapel of Old King Street in Bristol which took place in 1895. We can see that the circuit ministers were Rev Henry Foster, Rev J Gregory Martin and Rev A H Walker.

For the record this chapel no longer exists.

We can only wonder as to who lost this in Market Lavington.


William Saunders – political firebrand

April 19, 2013

There can be little doubt that the Saunders family from Russell Mill were amongst the most influential of people. This was not only in the Lavington area, but also around Britain and, indeed, the world.

Father Amram was a highly respected miller and leader of people. It was Amram that organised people to buy out the tollgates and get them removed. Today we are looking at one of his sons – William.

William was born on 20th November 1823 and he was to be the youngest son of Amram and Mary Saunders. Their home was Russell Mill which was in the parish of Market Lavington. It got passed to West Lavington in the 1950s.

We know little of his early life except that he attended a school in Devizes.

Our photo of William comes from the book ‘Elizabeth of Lavington’ which is about his younger sister and was written by her granddaughter.

William Saunders, born Market Lavington in 1823

William Saunders, born Market Lavington in 1823

William’s older brother seemed destined to take over the milling business so William looked elsewhere for his fortune. In 1844 he opened quarries near Box Tunnel.


A first business venture for William Saunders

In 1851 William was living with his married sister, Mary, in Kensington in London. William was described as a stone merchant.

In 1852 William married Caroline Spender of Bath. Later, he set up the Plymouth Western Morning News within the help of his father in law. In 1861 William and Caroline lived in Plymouth and William was now a newspaper proprietor.

In 1863 William founded Central News – the first ever news distributing agency and in 1864 he started the Hull based Eastern Morning News which came to be regarded as his real journalistic success. Perhaps William thought more of Central news for on the 1871 census, with William on Finchley Road in London, It is the news agency which he gives as his employment.

In 1881, William was in Streatham with Caroline and was listed as a newspaper Proprietor.

A new strand to his career took place in 1885 when he was elected liberal MP for Hull East. He lost his seat the following year when the liberals fell from power. William’s radical views, particularly his belief in land nationalisation, may not have helped him.

In 1889 William was elected to the first London County Council – for Walworth. The same area elected him as their MP in 1892.

At Market Lavington Museum we have a calling card holder which dates from this era.

Calling card holder for William Saunders

Calling card holder for William Saunders

William died in 1895 – in Market Lavington He was buried on 4th May in the churchyard at Market Lavington.

In 1983 his first paper, The Western Morning news published this story.

William's story by his first paper - The Western Morning News

William’s story by his first paper – The Western Morning News

James Welch – a fine Victorian Gentleman

January 17, 2013

This fine Victorian Gentleman is James Welch. He was the middle of three James Welches all of whom had close connections with Market Lavington. He was photographed by a Salisbury photographer in about 1895. The photo is of the type known as a carte de visite and measures some 9 by 6½ centimetres.

James Welch of Market Lavington - a fine Victorian gentleman

James Welch of Market Lavington – a fine Victorian gentleman

This James Welch was born in about 1856 in Glamorgan in Wales. In 1861 the family lived at Michaelstone, near Cardiff in Glamorgan where father, James Welch was the assistant manager at an iron works. Older children had been born in Battersea so the family had not moved to Wales all that long before our James was born.

We haven’t located our James on the 1871 census but his parents and some siblings were living at Beech House, White Street, Market Lavington. James senior was living on interest from money.

In 1881 our James was back with his parents at Beech House. He was now aged 25, but is not listed as having any kind of occupation. An interesting visitor to the house was 24 year old Annie Earle who was born in Lambeth in London.

Our James married Annie in 1887 in a ceremony in East London.

In 1891 this part of the Welch family were living on Church Street in Market Lavington. The older daughter had been born in East London, but James (the third) aged 2 was Market Lavington born. Our James was secretary of the Wiltshire Agricultural Society. The same two children were with parents on Church Street in 1901 and 1911.

James was a founder member of Market Lavington Parish Council and its chairman from 1915 to 1919.

James died in 1927. The Market Lavington church burial record gives his address as Spring Villa on Church Street but the death was registered in Weymouth.

For the record the third James had a daughter who became Peggy Gye, founder of Market Lavington Museum.

Also for the record, James Lye, the Market Lavington Fuchsia grower produced varieties which he called James Welch and Annie Earle. Annie Earle still exists but many people would like James Welch to be re-discovered.