Yeovil People

Ephraim Card

Tailor of Hendford


Ephraim Card was born in Mudford during the late spring of 1852. He was the son of china dealer George Card (1813-1860) from a poor family of Mudford (George's parents and sister were listed as paupers in the 1851 census) and Amelia née Minty (1821-1899) originally from Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire. George and Amelia were married (Yeovil District, but probably at Mudford) in the summer of 1851. They were to have two children, both born in Mudford; Ephraim and Mary Ann (b1857).

George Card died in the winter of 1860 and by the time of the 1861 census Amelia, working as a needlewoman, was lodging in Mudford with Ephraim aged 9 and 4-year old Mary. Whether or not Ephraim attended school during the day is not known but he did attend an evening school in Yeovil. The Sherborne Mercury, in its edition of 4 April 1865, reported that Ephraim was one of only four pupils to be awarded a First Class Conduct Prize.

By 1871 Ephraim was living with his 58-year old cousin Matthew Hobbs and his family in Huish. 19-year old Ephraim gave his occupation as a tailor.

On 22 December 1872 Ephraim married Yeovil-born Mary Jane Coles (1852-1912). Although the Western Gazette announced that their marriage took place at the Baptist Chapel in South Street, the marriage actually took place at Holy Trinity church in Peter Street.

They were to have eight children; George Jonas Minty (1873-1952), Joseph E (b1876), Anne Amelia (1879-1940), Lottie (1882-1964), Nellie (b1884), Ernest (1886-1953), Albert (1888-1961) and Evelyn (1891-1955).

Certainly by 1879 (when their daughter Anne was born) and in the 1881 census, Ephraim and Mary were living at 7 Brunswick Street with George, Joseph and Annie. Ephraim gave his occupation as a tailor.

By the time of the 1891 census Ephraim had move his family to 19 Hendford (next door to the Volunteer Tavern) where he and his tailoring business would remain. The census took place before Evelyn was born but all the other children were in residence with their parents, as well as Mary's mother Amelia Coles. Ephraim gave his occupation as a tailor and both George and Joseph, aged 17 and 15 respectively, were tailor's apprentices. George would eventually open his own tailoring business at 43 Middle Street from at least 1919 until at least 1935.

Ephraim advertised his tailoring business in various editions of Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser and the Western Gazette Almanac throughout the early to mid-1890s. However, not all was to go well for Ephraim and in October 1898 he was declared bankrupt. In January 1899 he applied for a discharge, stating that the cause of his bankruptcy was ill health. His discharge was granted, albeit suspended for two years. Both Ephraim and his business slowly recovered and within a year or two he was advertising his business again.

Ephraim still listed his occupation in the 1901 census and again in the census of 1911. At this time his youngest son Albert was also listed as a tailor. In 1912 Mary died, aged 60. It is assumed that Albert joined his father in the business, probably after the death of his mother. Certainly by 1919, when the business was listed in Kelly's Directory, it was listed as 'E Card & Son, Tailor, Ladies & Gents Outfitters of 19 Hendford'.

Ephraim died in Yeovil in the early spring of 1927, aged 74. Albert carried on the tailoring business which was advertised as 'E Card & Son, Tailors of 19 Hendford' in Kelly's Directory of 1935 and finally in Edwin Snell's Directory of 1954. Albert died in 1961. 




The notice of Ephraim and Mary's marriage in the 27 December 1872 edition of the Western Gazette.


Despite the Western Gazette reporting the marriage to have taken place in the Baptist chapel in South Street (above), the marriage was recorded in the parish register of Holy Trinity church (seen here).


A postcard dated 1906 looking along Brunswick Street. Ephraim and his young family lived in one of the first houses at left during the 1870s.


Ephraim Card's advertisement in the 1894 edition of the Western Gazette Almanac, typical of several placed around this time.


This photograph dates to about 1960 and shows Hendford Terrace in Hendford. The wall at the bottom left corner is the boundary wall of Hendford Manor and next to it is the entrance to Chant's Path. Ephraim Card's home and tailoring business is thought to have been in the house at right that projects beyond the terrace.