Yeovil People

George Holley

Cabinet Maker of South Street


George Holley was born at Burlescombe, Devon and baptised at St Mary's church, Burlescombe, in 1843. He was the third of the four children of farm labourer George Holley and Elizabeth née Perry (b1814). His siblings, all born at Burlescombe, were Samuel (b1839), William (b 1840) and Grace Jane (1846-1931). By 1851, George Snr had died and in the census Elizabeth was listed as a widow, living with her three youngest children in Burlescombe.

By 1861, seventeen-year-old George was living in Uffcombe, Devon, where he worked as a general servant in the household of yeoman James Churley. Within a couple of years, however, George served an apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker, probably in Yeovil.

On 6 April 1869, at West Bradley, Somerset, George married Mary Anne Maidment (1843-1923). Mary was recorded as Margaret in the 1891 census, so either she was known as Margaret or the census enumerator got the name wrong. George was noted on the certificate as a cabinet maker of Yeovil. Mary Anne was the youngest of the seven children of agricultural labourer Silas Maidment (b1819) and his wife Elizabeth (b1824). George and Mary were to have five children, all born in Yeovil; Christopher George (1870-1871), Arthur Thomas (b1872), Frederick George (b1874), Sarah Jane (b1879), Walter (b1880) and Herbert (b1886).

In the 1871 census, George and Mary, together with their one-year-old son Christopher, were listed living in Brunswick Street. George gave his occupation as a cabinet maker. Christopher died in the winter of 1871.

By 1875, at least, George moved his family to 5 South Street (see Gallery) where he was recorded as an upholsterer and cabinet maker in the Post Office Directory of that year. The family, complete with their four remaining children, were recorded here in the 1881 census. Again, George gave his occupation as a cabinet maker. This was again confirmed by George's advertisement in the 1884 edition of Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser - see below.

By the time of the 1891 census, George had moved his family to Frome where he was employed as a cabinet maker, as was his son Frederick. George possibly (there were several men of the same name) died in Frome in 1908.




The record of George and Mary's marriage on 6 April 1869 at West Bradley, Somerset. George was noted on the certificate as a cabinet maker of Yeovil.


George Holley's advertisement in the 1884 edition of Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser.


This colourised photograph features in my book 'Yeovil From Old Photographs'.

This colourised photograph of about 1910 shows South Street, roughly where King George Street is today. The Market House Inn is the three-storied building to left of centre. The two-storied building to its left is the Cheese Market building with its three arches at ground floor level. Between the two buildings is the entrance to George Court. To the right of the Market Street Inn was No 5 South Street which had been an un-named beerhouse, but by the 1870s was the home and workplace of George Holley and his family.