yeovil people

Henry Etheridge

Insurance Agent and Auctioneer

 

Henry Etheridge, or Etheredge, was born in Broughton, Hampshire, in 1786. Nothing is known of his early life or when he moved to Yeovil. However, judging by an advertisement of 1837 in which he sold his grocery business of 25 years, he would appear to have been in Yeovil since 1812. He was certainly living in Yeovil in 1823 because he joined the Yeovil Lodge of Brotherly Love of Freemasons on 25 February that year. At the time of his initiation he was aged 36 and was described as a grocer living in Yeovil. He became Worshipful Master of the Lodge in 1831.

In 1824 he was listed in Pigot's Directory as an agent for the West of England Fire Insurance company. His address was given as the Borough, but from Edward Bullock Watts' map of October 1829 (see below) it is known that his address was in Wine Street. In fact he was actually on the corner with the Borough, between Middle Street and Wine Street, either in the building that would become the Medical Hall or at the location where the Medical Hall would be built.

In Pigot's Directory of 1830 he was again listed as an agent  the West of England Fire Insurance company, but on this occasion his address was noted as being in Wine Street. He was also listed as an agent for the West of England Fire & Life Insurance company in the Somerset Gazette Directory of 1840, Hunt & Co's Directory of 1850 and Slater's Directory of 1852 - all noting the address as Wine Street. From at least 1837, Henry worked as an auctioneer (see Gallery).

Having run his grocery business for some 25 years, in August 1837 Henry, as an auctioneer, sold the grocery business and moved from the Medical Hall location to further along Wine Street. It may be (pure conjecture on my part) that the building later known as the Medical Hall was built at this time.

In the 1841 census Henry, together with his wife Sophia (b1791, Odcombe - 1854), boys John (b1826) and George (b1830) and a domestic servant, were listed in Wine Street. Henry gave his occupation as a commission agent.

The 1846 Tithe Apportionment noted that Henry was the owner of several houses - two parcels of land/property (Parcels 539 and 540) were occupied by William Symes (who would have sub-let them) and were both noted as 'Houses, Gardens & Orchards' and a further two parcels (Parcels 1061 and 1062) were occupied by John Tomkins (again, who would have sub-let them) and were both noted as 'House, Garden & Orchard' (see Maps). Although it is not proven, it is likely that Henry later owned four houses, little better than slums, in a court known as Etheridge's Court, off South Street and close to Wine Street. These only appeared named as such in the 1851 census.

 Henry's position in the 1851 census locates him close to the Wine Vaults. At this time 65-year old Henry gave his occupation as an auctioneer and was living with Sophia, granddaughter Sophia and a domestic servant.

Sophia died, aged 63, in the summer of 1854 at Yeovil. Henry died in Yeovil during the autumn of 1855, aged 69.

 

Maps

 

This map is based on Edward Bullock Watts' map of October 1829. Henry Etheridge's premises are noted at left, on the corner of Middle Street and Wine Street.

 

An extract of the 1842 Tithe Map. In the Tithe Apportionment of 1846, Henry Etheridge was noted as owning Parcels 539 and 540 - seen at centre and running from Goldcroft (left of centre) to Milford Brook seen running parallel to Eastland Road at right. Both plots were occupied by William Symes (who would have sub-let them) and were both noted as 'Houses, Gardens & Orchards'.

 

An extract of the 1842 Tithe Map. In the Tithe Apportionment of 1846, Henry Etheridge was noted as owning Parcels 1061 and 1062. Today this would be the whole of the northern side of Sparrow Road, from Roping Road (running vertically at left of centre) and Goldcroft (running from top right of centre to bottom right). Both plots were occupied by John Tomkins (who would have sub-let them) and were both noted as 'House, Garden & Orchard'.

 

gallery

 

The entry of Henry's joining the Lodge of Brotherly Love on 25 February 1823. His occupation was given as grocer and his address as Yeovil.

 

This sketch, made by GE Madeley to illustrate his map of 1831, shows the Borough seen from High Street - roughly the view seen today from the north end of King George Street. The Shambles is to the left and the Market House is to the right. The buildings at far left still stand today, that to the left is Clement White's shop, today's 8 High Street, at this time occupied by draper Benjamin Ryall whose name appears above the door. In the background, behind and to the right of the Market House is the Medical Hall (or its predecessor) - at this time occupied by Henry Etheridge.

 

An advertisement from the 28 August 1837 edition of the Salisbury & Winchester Journal proving that Henry was working as an auctioneer by this date. He appears to have been selling of his grocery business, in which he had been involved with for 25 years. Whether or not this was the Medical Hall or its predecessor is unknown. It is thought that it was at this time that Henry moved into premises in the centre of Wine Street.