yeovil people

joseph chaffey moore

Solicitor and Mayor of Yeovil


Joseph Chaffey Moore was born about 1833 at West Coker. He was the son of attorney at law Thomas Moore and his wife Elizabeth. Thomas Moore had his legal practice in Princes Street but the family lived in Higher Kingston and were listed there in the 1841 census. As well as 45-year-old Thomas and 35-year-old Elizabeth were their children Elizabeth aged eleven, Thomas aged nine, Joseph aged eight and Sarah aged three.

In Yeovil, during the summer of 1857, Joseph married Elizabeth Webb Jekyll of West Coker. In the 1861 census they were listed living in Kingston with a cook and a housemaid. Both Joseph and Elizabeth were aged 27 and he gave his occupation as solicitor. Their entries in both the 1871 census and that of 1881 were all but identical. Coincidentally, in 1861 they were living at 28 Kingston, opposite to William Bide and his family, William at the time being mayor of Yeovil.

In April 1862, Joseph was listed among those subscribing to the new west window in St John's church in memory of Prince Albert. He subscribed £5 (around £550 at today's value).

Joseph entered local politics in the late 1850s and served as mayor from 1867 to 1869, from 1871 to 1872 and was elected for a third term, serving from 1886 to 1887. In 1875 he was appointed as a Borough Magistrate.

Joseph was a member of the Bench at the committal hearing of the Colmer Murder Case, held at the Town Hall in April 1880.

In the spring of 1884 Elizabeth died in Yeovil at the age of 50 and was buried in Yeovil Cemetery (see below). In the autumn of the following year Joseph married Mary Barns, eighteen years his junior, at Highworth, Wiltshire. Mary was the daughter of wealthy farmer William Amos Burns and his wife Jane, of Braemore, Hampshire. In the 1891 census Joseph and Mary were living in Kingston with their two young children; Eleanor aged four and Joseph aged three, together with a cook, housemaid and domestic nurse.

Towards the end of his life Joseph was in partnership with Thomas Moore as solicitors trading under the name of T & JC Moore.

In the 1901 census Joseph, Mary and Eleanor were still living at Kingston, together with a cook, parlour maid and housemaid. Joseph Chaffey Moore died at Headington, Oxfordshire, in November 1901 aged 68.


See Jekyll - Newman - Paynter - Moore Family Relationships Tree

See Yeovil Solicitors


From my collection

Joseph Chaffey Moore's seal and signature, enlarged to show the detail in the former, on a lease dated 1882.




Courtesy of Olly Ewens

This photograph is from a 1952 newspaper article and was taken on the occasion of the opening of Sidney Gardens in June 1898. The group, photographed with the Mayor, Mr John Vincent, has as its background the thatched bandstand given by Mr James Bazeley Petter to mark the opening. Standing (left to right) are: - E Benson, W Summers, J Kerby Whitby, Mr Brown, William Maynard, GH Gould, Edward Samuel Ewens, Henry Jesty (mace-bearer), William W Johnson, Charles J Hook, John Bazeley Petter (donor), W Armitage (Borough Surveyor), John Howe Farley, Walter J Nosworthy, William Beale Collins, Charles Fox. Sitting - Levi Beer, CW Pittard, Sidney Watts, Mrs Vincent, John Vincent (Mayor), Joseph Chaffey Moore, William Cox.


Notice of sale of some of the effects of Joseph Chaffey Moore, including his billiard table, paintings, china, etc. from the 5 February 1904 edition of the Western Gazette.


The monument to his wife Elizabeth, erected by Joseph in Yeovil Cemetery. The following year he married Mary Barns, eighteen years his junior. Photographed in 2014.