Yeovil People

Frederick Foan

Glove Manufacturer


There were two men called Frederick Foan born in Yeovil around 1832-3 - much to the consternation of a myriad of amateur genealogists who have completely confused the two.

This Frederick Foan was born in Yeovil at 5am on 18 December 1832 and baptised on 21 December 1832 at St John's church, the youngest son of glove manufacturer and grocer Charles Fone (1788-1859) and Mary née Flambert (1792-1853), both of Yeovil.

Charles and Mary were to have a dozen children, although many of them died in infancy and consequently the same names keep reappearing; Daniel (1815-1893), Sylvana (1815-1876), Mary Flambert (1818-1821), Charles (1820-1821), Charles (1822-1822), Mary Margaret (b1823), Alfred Charles (1825-1825), Alfred Charles (1826-1857), Edmund (1828-1911), Anna (1830-1891), Frederick (1832-1903) and Emma (1834-1834).

Charles owned the large Regency-styled residence built in London Road called Penfield House (today known as Osborne House) and it was almost certainly here that Frederick was born. Pigot's Directory of 1830 listed "Charles Fone, Glove Manufacturer, Penn House, London Road" and E Watts' map of 1831, shown below, shows Pen Field House for the first time and Watts annotated the property as "Mr C Fone". In the 1832 Poll Book Charles is listed by virtue of owning a freehold house "Pen-field, in this parish".

In the 1841 census Charles and Mary, together with children Daniel, Mary, Alfred, Edmund, Anna and Frederick, together with a female domestic servant, were listed at "Pen Field House, London Road". Charles gave his occupation as 'Glove M(anufacturer)'.

The 1851 census listed Charles and Mary, together with children Alfred, Anna and Frederick, were living above Charles' shop premises in Middle Street on the corner of Turnstile Lane. Charles gave his occupation as 'Glover & Grocer' and his two sons were both glove cutters.

Frederick's mother, Mary, died in Yeovil in 1853 and his father, Charles, died in Yeovil on 15 March 1859. On 7 June 1859 Frederick married Mary Hodder (1835-1889) at Marshwood, Dorset. Frederick and Mary were to have ten children; Alfred (1860-1938), Loveday Margaret Mary (1862-1862), Rosa Harriett (1863-1901), Mary Jane (1865-1957), Annie (1867-1904), Edmund (1869-1911), Lovedy (1871-1910), Kate (1872-1950), Sarah, known as Dolly (1875-1964) and Lucy (1877-1881).

His father's glove manufacturing business was in Middle Street and it seems likely that Frederick took the business over. He is listed in the 1861 census in Middle Street with Mary and baby son Alfred and a 12-year old nursemaid. Frederick gave his occupation as a 'Leather Glover Employing 2 men & 1 boy'.

By 1864 Frederick had moved his family to Harrow, Middlesex, where a daughter Rosa was born. Within two years the family had moved again, this time to Acton, Middlesex. The 1871 census listed them at Acton Green and Frederick now gave his occupation as a 'Butterman & Cheesemonger'.

By 1874 the family had moved yet again, this time to Heston, Hounslow, Middlesex, and Frederick had changed his occupation yet again. He was listed in the census as a 48-year old market gardener living with Mary and children Annie, Edmund, Lovedy, Kate, Sarah and Lucy at Staines Road - the latter three girls all being born in Hounslow.

Mary died in 1889 and by the time of the 1891 census Frederick had moved to a different address in Heston; White Stone House, London Road. He was listed as a 56-year old widower working as a dairy man and living with him were Mary Jane, Edmund, Kate and Sarah.

By 1901 Frederick had moved yet again and was living at 2 Blagdon House, Green Lane, Kingsdown, Kent, with his 34-year old daughter Mary. Now aged 68 he described his occupation as 'living on own means'.

Frederick Foan died at 4.30pm on 20 November 1903 at 2 The Firs, Upton Wood, Shepherdswell, Dover, Kent. He was aged 70 and was buried at St Leonard's church, Heston, on 25 November 1903. His will was probated on 9 December 1903 and his effects, to Mary Jane, were valued at £930 5s 9d (around £600,000 at today's value).




E Watts' map of 1831 showing the build-up of properties along the southern side of Townsend including Osborne House, (albeit not named as such), the birthplace of Frederick Foan. At this time it was known as Penfield House and, as annotated on the map, was the property of Charles Fone.




The perfect Regency styling of Osborne House. Originally called Penfield House, it was the birthplace of Frederick Foan. Photographed in 2014.


The record of Frederick's baptism at St John's church.


A carte de visite of Frederick Foan taken by EA Hogg of Staines Road, Hounslow. Frederick was living on Staines Road in the 1880s.


The record of Frederick's burial in the register of St Leonard's church, Heston.