Posted by Category: Gloucester
In Discover Gloucestershire Ancestors Volume 2, I included a chapter on education records and mentioned some of the early Gloucester schools such as the Crypt School, Sir Thomas Rich’s School and the College School, all of which are still in existence, the latter now called the King’s School.
Recently, however, I was googling the name of Theodore Gwinnett and I came across a mention of him in connection with the Minutes of the Committee of Privileges of 1799. Further investigation showed this particular document to relate to one William Cole (or Tudor as he was calling himself), attempting to make a claim on the Berkeley estate. It seems that three of the Gwinnett boys, Theodore, Charles and John had all known the young William Cole or his relatives in their schooldays or early manhood. One other family that mentioned was the Hudds of The Fleece in Wotton.
Apart from the information I gleaned on the early years of the Gwinnett boys, it was interesting to note how they walked from Barnwood to Wotton to collect William Cole and continue with him into the city to school most days. Theodore said he attended Mr Cook’s school in Oxbody Lane in Gloucester, whilst William Cole, who lived with his family at The Swan at Wotton, went to a different school. However, another friend, Edward Hudd, said both he and William Cole attended Mr John Cooke’s school, again said to be in Oxbody Lane, but that Theodore Gwinnett had gone to a different school, that belonging to a Mr Mutlow, which he believed was ‘down behind the College Wall’. Someone has to have been wrong! William Cole’s sisters went to a school in Lower Northgate Street ‘kept by a person by the name of Middleton’ and later to Mrs Clarke’s.
Does anyone have any more details on any of these schools? Or any other small Gloucester schools of the same period?
Whilst looking for information on Alney Island on the outskirts of Gloucester yesterday, I came across an early map of the area, c. 1750. It was beautifully drawn, showing the western end of the city of Gloucester, where the River Severn separates into the Upper and Lower Parting. It shows other streams, the outlines of the fields, which are all named, and even little gates in the hedges. To one side of the map runs what was called Over’s Causey – the causeway leaving the city and heading to Over and the Forest of Dean. It even shows the arches underneath the causeway which were left to allow the flood water to pass through – they knew about the flood plains in those days!
The map is very clear, neat and precise and includes The Island with tiny houses drawn on it, between the West Gate Bridge and, what was called on the map, Fording Bridge, which later became Foreign Bridge and which now no longer exists.
I have no idea why the map was drawn. It may be over 250 years old but this is a little gem of a map – I wish I had found it before I wrote my chapter on Gloucestershire Maps as I would certainly have included it. For anyone with ancestors living in the Alney Island/The Island area of Lower Westgate Street, Gloucester, this would really bring your house history to life.
Are you missing an ancestor in the late 19th and early 20th centuries? Perhaps they were in Gloucester Gaol? My book containing photographs and criminal records for prisoners held in Gloucester Gaol during 1870 and between 1883 and 1906 is now available. Entitled ‘Victorian Prisoners in Gloucester Gaol – A Rogues’ Gallery’ it costs £14.99 from all good bookshops. Published by The History Press it has ISBN: 978-0-7524-5129-9. It contains information and mugshots of men, women and children from all round the world, not just from Gloucester or Gloucestershire. Perhaps your ancestor was there …..