There was a Christening on 2nd March 1766 at Corsham in Wiltshire, England of a George Butler. This may have been my great, great, great grandfather although there were many with the name Butler in Corsham at that time. Corsham is an ancient stone-built town in Wiltshire occupying the southernmost end of the great Oolitic range of the Cotswolds between Chippenham and Bath. There were many underground quarries from which the famous Bath stone was obtained.
The marriage took place (by banns) in November 1798 of George Butler, bachelor and Jane West spinster both of the parish of Corsham. The proclamation of banns was generally made in church on three successive Sundays, for an intended marriage. Both made their mark in the presence of Mr Pritchard and Mr Tyler. A Baptism was held for Ann daughter of George and Jane Butler on  the 5th of August 1804 in Corsham.

In November at Corsham a son was born to George and Jane Butler, he was baptised George on January 3rd 1808 in Corsham Church. In July of that year the hottest shade temperature of 98 F. was recorded in London and in September the Theatre Royal at Covent Garden was destroyed by fire. On the 23rd of December 1810 Anna-Maria daughter of George and Jane Butler was baptised.

John son of George and Jane Butler was baptised in 1814, the abode was given as Corsham, and the occupation was carpenter. A William Butler married a Mary Kirton on November 6th 1823 this was recorded in Calne (not sure if this is family.) Twins John and Sarah were born to George and Mary Butler in Corsham in 1826.
In the census of 1841 in Patterdown, Corsham, Wiltshire were George Butler age 35, Mary (nee SMITH) 35, twins John and Sarah 15, Charlotte 11, Eliza 7, Maryann age 3. A George Butler, a carpenter age 65 was also living in Corsham with Annamariaruth age 30.
Alfred Henry Butler was born in Corsham on October 5th 1844. In the 1851 census at Patterdown were George Butler an agricultural labourer age 47 born in Calne, his wife Mary age 45 born in Chilwood (sic), daughters Eliza age 17 born in Calne, Elizabeth age 9, son Alfred age 6 both born in Corsham and a visitor James Elmes age 21. George Butler senior was living in Rough Street, a widowed carpenter age 77 also in the house was a David West age 82 also a widower (this may have been a relative of Georges late wife Jane). By the 1861 census they had moved to the Lyncombe & Widcombe district where George was a Methodist lay preacher.
Twenty-year-old Alfred Henry Butler and Mary Sage age twenty-six were married by banns on May 1st 1864 at the (tything) Parish Church, Widcombe, Somerset while Alfred was a grocers assistant. At the time of the marriage he was living at Westmoreland Buildings and she was at Grove Place. James and Caroline Flint were witness’s. His father George was noted as a gardener and her father William as a mason. The old church at Widcombe was rebuilt in about 1500 to replace an earlier structure. In the porch are some interesting Roman fragments. Widcombe is on the south side of Bath the railway line almost cutting the village in half. It would be about ten miles from Corsham. Their first daughter Elizabeth Mary was born in 1865, registered in Bath.
The High Class Boot and Shoe Warehouse of H. Butler was established in 1874 at 2 Union Street, Bath (he also had two shops in Bristol and one in Ludlow which he disposed of). Alfred Henry, who was now known as Henry, and his wife Mary had their first and only son they called Henry Seymour Butler. He was born on May 20th 1875 at 11 Lower Camden Place, Bath (sub-district of Walcot, which was on the north-west side of Bath and according to estimates of the annual value of real property, made in 1815, was the ninth wealthiest parish in the country), Somerset. Ethel Louise Butler was born in 1877 while the family were living in Bath.
In April 1881 the Butler family were living at 8 Southcot Place in the parish of Lyncombe & Widcombe. They had a domestic servant, Clara Button (born 1865 Bath) and according to the census Alfred was still calling himself Henry. Southcot Place was built in 1817 and consisted of a number of four storey terrace houses, possibly made of Bath stone. Most of the original occupants seem to have been tradesmen from the nearby thriving artisan streets and this was probably the first time most of them could afford not to live 'over the shop'. Many of them had to let rooms in order to make ends meet, and some were subdivided into flats although I don't think number 8 was ever subdivided and is in fact still being lived in. Elizabeth Mary Butler now called Bessie and age 15, was a boarder with Adelaide Young, a widow age 54, at 31 St. Thomas Street, Melcombe Regis near Weymouth in Dorset along with other ‘young ladies’.

Alfred Henry prior to 1886 was a Liberal in politics but became a Liberal Unionist in that year taking keen interest in the fortunes of his party. He first attempted to enter the City Council for St James' Ward, where he fought, when political feeling ran high, the late Mr John Ricketts and after a somewhat acrimonious contest was defeated. The Butler family owned horses and ponies, when they were living at Keynsham they had a Groom/Gardener called George Fray who worked for them for many years. In 1890 when Henry Seymour was fifteen years old he was presented with a silver drinking tankard by the Duke of Beaufort. It was for the best ‘Pony in Saddle’ at the Badminton Club Show, the pony’s name was Princess. In 1891 Butler family were living at 4 Abbey Park, Keynsham, the census states Henry Butler, Head, married, age 46, Boot Manufacturer born in Chippenham, Wiltshire his wife Mary age 50 born in Calne, Wiltshire, daughter Elizabeth, single, age 24, Cashier, son Seymour, age 15, Clerk and daughter Ethel age 12, all three born in Bath. A domestic servant Elizabeth Thorne age 21 born in Bristol was living with them.
In 1894 Alfred Henry wrote to the local paper expressing his desire to be elected.

Seven months later his wife, Mary Butler (Sage) died and was buried in Keynsham cemetery
‘In Loving Memory of Mary the Beloved Wife of Alfred Henry Butler who died 11th May 1895 Aged 56. For if we believe that Jesus Died and Rose again even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him’.

A year after his first wife’s death, Alfred Henry Butler married Katherine Hibberd, spinster age 48, at the Congregational Church in Salisbury, Wiltshire on the 13th of June 1896 in the presence of Charles and Elizabeth Hibberd. Alfred gave his address as Abbey Park, Keynsham, Katherine’s place of residence was 13 Clifton Terrace, Salisbury, her father was William Hibberd (deceased). On the 31st March the census was taken and the Butler family were living at ‘St. Keynes’ a house in Abby Park. Henry Seymour Butler was proposed into Lodge No 906 (Royal Albert Edward Lodge) on the 10th of April. He was 26 years old, described as a boot and shoe manufacturer and his business address was 23 Union Street, Bath. The home address was Abbey Park, Keynsham. Minutes for that same meeting mentioned the 'great loss of our beloved Queen Victoria and the hope that King Edward VII would have a long and happy reign'. Henry Seymour only attended a total of 6 meetings at the Royal Albert Edward Masonic Lodge, he resigned on October 12th 1904 he did not attend any Lodge in Bath again until 1920.
Henry Seymour Butler married Emily Clara Rose on June 17th 1903 in the Church of All Saints, Upper Norwood, Surrey. At the time they were living at 17 and 27 St Aubyn’s Road, Norwood near Croydon. His father, Alfred Henry and his sister Ethel Louise (born 1877) were witnesses at his marriage. Twins, Henry Gerald Seymour and Doris Emily Margaret were born at 37 St Aubyn’s Road on Thursday August 18th 1904. Their grandfather, Alfred Henry moved from Keynsham to Newbridge Hill, (sub district of Twerton) Bath. In the directory of Bath 1906 there was listed Butler Alfred H, boot and shoe warehouse, 23 Union Street & 3 Union Passage. Place of residence given as Draycot House, Newbridge Hill (Newbridge Hill runs from Upper Bristol Road to Kelston Road on the west side of town just south of the Royal United Hospital and is about two miles from Bath city centre). There is mention of Draycot water in The Rev Francis Kilvert’s diary, situated near Chippenham and Langley Burrell not far from Corsham, also ‘a German ladies’ maid from Draycot House’ 1870. I don't know if Draycot House is still there, I would think it was as most of the old houses still exist. Newbridge Hill is not very steep and is about 2 miles from Union Street. Later that year on September 16th Edward George Cuthbert Butler was born at 27 St. Aubyns Road, Croydon. 
On the 10th October 1906 the three Butler children were baptised at All Saints with St. Margaaret in Upper Norwood, The 'abode' was given as 40 Church Road.

  Then in the Gloucester Journal on 16th March an advert appeared registering a Company.

By the 1911 census they were back in Somerset living at 8 Southstoke Road, Combe Down just outside Bath.

On March 17th 1912 the birth of Kathleen Margaret Butler, took place in Bath. By 1913 with George V on the throne men were wearing less formal clothing and women’s skirts were long but tight and restrictive around the ankles, the lace and frills were discarded, hats had wide brims, neck lines were lower and their hair was waved back into a bun. Ethel Louise Butler married Harold Thomas Lock at the Central United Reform Church in Bath in 1913. Harold had been born in Bath in the spring of 1883 and was younger than Ethel, his father was Thomas R Lock was a partner in a Cabinet Manufacturing business at Westmorland Steam Mills in Lyncombe. Harold came from a long line of cabinet makers, his grandfather William Humphrey Lock was born in Exeter in 1829 married Ellen Hall in 1853, produced four sons William, Thomas, John and Edward and three daughters Ellen (cateract from birth), Sarah Jane (who died age three) and Sarah. Thomas and William were founders of the W&T Lock furniture factory. A family tradition has it that 6 chairs were made by W&T Lock & Co, these six chairs were given to the eldest sons, these chairs were then to be passed onto the eldest sons of future generations etc. So Harold and Ethel would have been given a chair. There were seven children in the family of Thomas (born 1857) and Mary (born 1854), the four boys, Harold, Lionel, Cecil Popham and Ronald Popham, at least one chair is in the family home of Cecil. Britain declared war on Germany on August 4th 1914, on Austria-Hungary on the 12th and, with France, on Turkey in November.
In January 1915 German naval airships bombed Yarmouth and Kings Lyn, in April British, Australian and New Zealand troops landed on the Gallipoli peninsula. Henry Seymour offered his experience to the Government. He served in the North Somerset Yeomanry and was appointed as a musketry instructor giving courses of instruction in various parts of the country. Early in 1917 he was gazetted a Staff Captain in the School of Musketry, and two months later appointed to the headquarters Staff of the Milford Haven Garrison as Brigade Musketry Officer. He spent a short time in South Africa.
Alfred Henry Butler went to his Solicitors, Titley, Long and Lavington of Bath and made his will on September 10th 1917. This is the last Will and Testament of me Albert Henry Butler of Draycot House Newbridge Hill in the City of Bath Boot Manufacturer I appoint my Wife Katherine Butler, my Son Henry Seymour Butler and Walter Farley Long of Bath Solicitor Executors  Albert Henry Butler of Draycott House Newbridge Hill Bath, boot manufacturer died 28 June 1918. Probate Bristol 21.8.1918 to Katherine Butler widow, Henry Seymour Butler gentleman and Walter Farley Long solicitor. Effects £8153.13s.7d.’Including all the furniture, horses and carriages and generally all the household garden and stable effects.The Butlers were paying a yearly rent of two hundred pounds to the Bath Corporation for the shops in Bath. Henry (real name Alfred) had been in feeble health for several years and passed away at his home on June 28th 1918, the cause of death being ‘Mitral Stenosis and Syncope’, ‘the news of his death came as a painful surprise, for his end was quite sudden. On Wednesday he was at his business in Union Street, and on Thursday 'phoned to the manager on matters connected with the establishment. Having difficulty in breathing Mr Butler rose from his bed early on Friday and sat in a chair, where he passed away just before six o'clock.’ (Extract from the Bath Chronicle 29th June 1918). At the time Henry Seymour was living at 43 Wellsway, Bath, Elizabeth Mary was in charge of a large military hospital in Bournemouth and Ethel Louise was married to Harold Lock.
My father Henry Gerald and his brother Edward (Ted) had both attended Colston Boys School before being admitted to Bristol Grammar School on January 16th 1919. The records state that at the time the home address was 98 Newbridge Hill, Bath, their father a Boot Maker and Retail Proprietor, Henry G was a day scholar (D.O.B. 19.2.1904 which is not correct as his birth certificate says ‘born 11.30pm 18th August 1904), Edward C. was a boarder his house master was F.G.Beauchamp. The boys both left in December in 1920, my father to ‘join his father in business’, he was 15 years old, Edward was 13. The money left by Alfred Henry would, no doubt, have come in very handy. I do not know what the two ‘girls’ were doing.
By 1923 the Butler family were living at 1 Westbourne Villas in Bloomfield Road, Bath next door to Joseph William ROSE who also gave an address of 111 Newbridge Road. An Andrew ROSE was living at Beaufort House on the London Road and an S. Edgar SAGE at Bathwick Grange on Bathwick Hill. These people could have been relatives. Henry Seymour was a Yeoman and a founding member of the 'St. Alphege’ Masonic Lodge No. 4095 and in 1922-1923 was presented a ‘Past Master's Breast Jewel’ by them.
His name ‘H. Seymour Butler’ is on the Honour Board hanging on the wall inside the Masonic Hall in Bath as Founder Junior Warden and as the third Worshipful Master in 1922. Emily Clara told the story of how, if they had guests who would not go, H.S. would get up, stand to attention and sing ‘God save the Queen’ to get rid of them. He also liked to go to the Bath races. In 1924 Ted paid 5 shillings for his drivers licence, he worked for several months on ‘Billy Hall Farm’, then he left for New Zealand.
On January 27th 1928 HS went to his solicitors Titley, Long and Vale and made a will leaving all he possessed to Emily Clara, expressing that ‘friends William George Dickinson and Francis Jones would give her their advice and kind assistance if asked to do so.’ Williams father, was George Dickinson, the partner of the Rose & Dickinson watch & jewellery shop in Bath in 1889-1902. Just eight days later on the 4th of February 1928 the tragic death of my grandfather took place at 2 Locksbrook Place, Bath. There was an inquest and on the death certificate the coroner stated that the cause of death was ‘primarily aortic disease of the heart and ultimately by accidental gas poisoning’. The report was in the Bath Chronicle and Herald of Tuesday February 7 1928.
 Probate was granted at Bristol on the 14th of March to Emily Clara Butler widow left ‘gross value of estate’ £1606 and net value of personal estate £784. 16 shillings and 5 pence. Emily Clara had her own business at 5 & 6 Wood Street, Bath, now the Bath Branch of Bristol and West PLC (formerly the Bristol and West Building Society, who changed their name when they were taken over by the Bank of Ireland about 3 years ago).

Henry Gerald Seymour married Cecily Maud Beck at Wandsworth Register Office, London on June 2nd 1934, Britain declared war on Germany on September 3rd and Kathleen Margaret married Reginald Stagg in Bristol the next day. Doris Emily married Roy Ferguson in Exeter in 1939. Edward Cuthbert was in New Zealand and married Vera Annie Laura Simpson in Wellington, in 1942. Katherine Butler, nee Hibberd the 2nd wife of Alfred Henry, (‘a bit of a dragon’ according to Emily Clara), died in 1944 at 30 Oldfield Road, Bath (late of 11 Gay Street, Bath).

About Me

My photo
Welcome to my blog about day to day living on the coast of Western Australia. An eclectic mix of things that make life interesting. Born Brighton, Sussex UK arrived Western Australia 1969 never turned back.