William Raymond was born in 1822 in Podimore, the son of gardener Edward Raymond (1780-1856) and Martha née Feaver (b1779). He was the younger brother of glove manufacturers Edward Raymond and Cuthbert Raymond. By the time of the 1841 census Edward Snr and Martha, both born in Queen Camel, were living in Kingston with their daughter Martha, William now a glover journeyman, and his two younger brothers Henry and James.
In the summer of 1844 William married Ann Greenwell, five years his senior, at Yeovil. In the 1851 census they were living at Green Quarry with two-year-old daughter Lucy Anna and 10-month-old son John, together with a female servant. William gave his occupation as leather glove cutter while Ann, listed as Anna, gave her occupation as dressmaker.
In the 1861 census William and Ann were recorded living in Commercial Buildings, Middle Street, photographed below. With them were children Lucy Ann aged 12, John Greenwell aged 10, Frederick William aged nine, Henry Francis, known as Frank, aged five, Edith Agnes aged three and Edward Lancelot aged two months. Also living with them was William's mother-in-law, Mary Greenwell, and a female servant. William gave his occupation as 'Leather Dresser & Leather Glove Manufacturer employing 26 men, 12 boys & 300 women'. In 1866 William was listed as a glove manufacturer of Vicarage Street in the Post Office Directory of that year.
By 1871 William had moved his family to Church Street, next to St John's schoolrooms, the six children were joined by an additional daughter, Alice. William described his occupation as 'Kid Glove Manufacturer' and his sons, John and Frederick, both gave their occupations as assistants to their father. Both the 1875 Post Office Directory and Whitby's 1882 Yeovil Almanack Advertiser listed William Raymond & Son, Glove Manufacturers of Vicarage Street. The 'Son' in the company of William Raymond & Son was William's son Henry (Frank), since Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser of 1882 listed his other son, John G Raymond, as a glove manufacturer of 58 South Street.
William served as a Churchwarden of St John's, being selected as the Vicar's Churchwarden from 1870 until 1873 then as the Town's Churchwarden in 1875.
Although invariably listed in all trade directories as 'Glove Manufacturers of Vicarage Street' until the early 1880s and thereafter as 'Glove Manufacturers of Goldcroft', William bought the Eastland Road Dressing Yard and Tannery after the death of its former owner, William Bide, in 1864.
In the 1881 census William, now aged 59, listed his occupation as 'Glove Manufacturer employing 17 men, 10 boys, 600 women' at his glove factory, while 25-year-old Henry (Frank), who worked with his father, listed his occupation as Glove Manufacturer. John however, aged 30 and still living with his parents, listed his occupation as 'Glove Manufacturer employing 30 men, 60 boys, 300 women' at his South Street glove factory. By 1883 the firm was known as W Raymond & Sons.
Ann died early in 1891, aged 63, and in the following census William was described as a 69-year-old widower, giving his occupation as glove manufacturer as did his son John, who was living with him. Also living with him in Church Street were daughters Lucy now aged 42, Edith aged 38 and Alice aged 28 as well as two domestic servants.
In 1901 the family were still in Church Street but by now William was listed as a retired glove manufacturer while John was listed as a glove manufacturer. In 1903 Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser listed William Raymond & Sons as Glove Manufacturers of Goldcroft. William Raymond died in Yeovil in early 1903 and by 1907 the family business was listed as Raymond & Sons, Glove Manufacturers of Goldcroft in Collin's Yeovil Directory.
A report in the Western Gazette's edition of 25 May 1883 of the workmen's dinner provided by the company on the occasion of Frank returning from his marriage tour.
A report of the annual outing of the William Raymond & Sons excursion club to Plymouth as reported in the Western Gazette's edition of 22 May 1891.
This photograph dates to the mid-1960's and shows Lower Middle Street with Commercial Buildings, where William Raymond lived with his family, at centre next to the Railway Tavern at right. At far right is Central Road and the photograph was taken from Station Road (now called South Western Terrace).
This aerial photograph of the 1920s shows the eastern end of Vicarage Street snaking across the photograph from its junction with Middle Street, seen at the very top left corner. At left the Methodist church dominates and just right of centre is the three-storey glove factory of William Raymond, later the factory of George Gould but it burnt down in 1908 and this photograph shows the rebuilt glove factory and dressing yard. The glove factory and the large yard at centre bottom was the Council's 'Town Yard' during the 1970s and 1980s - I spent many hours in that building during those years.
Workers of William Raymond & Sons gather for a group photograph, probably around 1890, in the Eastland Road yard between the main building at right and the 'rear' building at left.
This photograph of the Eastland Road Dressing Yard and Tannery was taken from Eastland Road in the early 1960's and shows the east and north elevations of the main building.