1755 – 24 Westgate Street

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: Uncategorized

The next owner of 24 Westgate Street was Richard Elly, described as a gentleman and an attorney.  He was also a Freeman of the city of Gloucester from 1722 and a Proctor of the Consistory Court of the Diocese of Gloucester.  He had a brother James, named after his father, and a sister Jane to whom he left a lifetime’s interest in the property in Saint Mary de Grace parish.  Among other legacies, he left £200 to the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge – he would no doubt have been delighted to know that, as the bookshop S.P.C.K, the society occupied the building in the 20th century, from 1949 to 1970.

Richard does not appear to have married so, in his will of 1755, he left much of his property, to his sister, Jane, including Paygrove Farm and lands in Little Normans.  His executors were Thomas Branch, George Worrall (both at various times Aldermen of the city and Luke Hook, described as a writing master. Richard was buried in St Michael’s church.

Jane Elly married Joseph Punter, a mercer, in Gloucester Cathedral in 1736.  Like her brother before her, Jane does not appear to have had any children – she was, in fact, in her late forties when she married.  Her husband died in 1749 leaving Jane a widow for over twenty years.

In her will, in 1773, Jane left legacies amounting to over £1500 to friends and their children.  She also gave £500 to a charity helping Gloucester Infirmary and the residue of her estate went to the Mayor and Burgesses of the city of Gloucester to invest, the interest being used every year to pay for as many poor local boys to be apprenticed to a trade as the funds would permit.

By the time Jane died, so had one of the executors, George Worrall so the other two were left to sell off the property to the next owner, Alderman John Webb.

24 Westgate Street

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: Uncategorized

In 2016, I was given access to 77 old documents relating to the building currently designated as 24 Westgate Street. Since then I have been transcribing these documents. They tell the story of those who lived and worked in the building. The documents date back to 1721 and refer to events that occurred in 1707.

This was 24 Westgate Street in 2016.
It is situated between
the Antiques Centre and MacDonalds.

Over the coming months, I hope to tell the story of the shop and those who lived and worked there.

Alney Island map

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: Books, Genealogy, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, Research

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.  You can find the map at Gloucestershire Archives; Reference GBR/J4/2.