Yeovil People

Henry Bracher

Master Upholsterer and Cabinet Maker

 

Henry Bracher was born in Yeovil in 1829 and baptised at St John's church on 25 August 1829. He was the son of butcher Henry Bracher and Ann née Goodland (1803-1838) of Hendford.

In the 1841 census, 11-year-old Henry was living with his uncle Robert Geake and his family in Hendford. However, Robert's home and premises were actually in today's Princes Street, on the western side opposite Church Street, since at this time the western side of Princes Street from the corner of today's Westminster Street as far as Park Road, was in the manor of Hendford and therefore went by that name. Robert Geake was an upholsterer and cabinet maker and he clearly taught his skills to his young nephew. In the 1851 census, Robert and Mary Geake were in the same house as well as Henry and now his younger sister Anne was in residence as well. In 1869, after the death of his wife Mary, Robert Geake and Anne Bracher were married.

In the winter of 1859, at Wells, Henry married Martha Guard (1836-1863), the daughter of John and Maria Guard of Stoke sub Hamdon. Henry and Martha were to have two sons, both born in Yeovil; Henry (b1860) and Arthur Charles (b1862). In the 1861 census, Henry, Martha and baby Henry were listed in South Street, towards the Triangle end. Henry gave his occupation as an upholsterer. Sadly, Martha died in very early 1863.

In the spring of 1867, at Kensington, London, Henry married Anne Webb (b1829, Ilchester). They were to have a son, Walter Edwin (1870-1928). Both Walter and his step-brother Arthur were baptised on 30 July 1871 at Holy Trinity, since at this time the family were living in Newton Road. In the baptismal register Henry gave his occupation as a cabinet maker. In the 1871 census, Henry, together with Anne, Arthur and Walter were listed in Newton Road and, again, Henry gave his occupation as an upholsterer.

Henry's uncle, Robert Geake, died in Yeovil in 1877, and his business in Princes Street was taken over by Henry Bracher - who had been the 11-year-old living with the Geake family in 1841. In the 1881 census Henry and Anne, both now aged 50, and 10-year-old Walter were listed at the Princes Street premises and Henry gave his occupation as 'Master Upholsterer employing 2 Men and 2 Apprentices'.

Henry's premises in Princes Street were demolished in 1887 and replaced by the new Assembly Rooms. It may have been this event that caused Henry to move his family and business to Holdenhurst, Bournemouth, Hampshire, where the 1891 census recorded Henry, Anne and two lodgers at 3 Westbourne Arcade. 56-year-old Henry gave his occupation as an upholsterer.

Henry Bracher died in Christchurch in the summer of 1899.

 

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This photograph features in my book "Lost Yeovil"

Looking east along South Street towards the Triangle. On the left is South Street Terrace, where Henry and Martha lived in the 1860s. This photograph dates to about 1920.

 

Henry Bracher's advertisement in the 1882 edition of Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser