Yeovil People

Thomas Frost

Yeoman and licensee of the Red House and Pen Mill Inn

 

Thomas Frost was born in Yeovil in 1792 and baptised at St John's church on 4 March 1792. He was the son of John Frost (1758-1817) and Mary née Yeatford (1753-1825). John and Mary's children were - John (b1782), un-named daughter (b1785), Ann (b1787), Ann (b1789), Thomas, and Jane (1794-1800).

Nothing is known of Thomas' early life, but on 10 August 1816, at St John's church, he married Frances Mary Bonner, known as Fanny (1793-1848). Thomas and Fanny were to have four children, all born in Yeovil - Fanny Bonner (1819-1882), Elizabeth Bonner (1819-1889), George (1822-1881) and John Bonner (1831-1890).

George was baptised at St John's church on 20 June 1822 and in the parish register Thomas was recorded as a thatcher of Vicarage Street. However, in its edition of 20 December 1830 the Western Flying Post reported that Thomas "of the Red House Inn" had his premises burgled (see Gallery). The St John's parish register's entry for the baptism of Thomas' son John Bonner on 5 November 1831, recorded Thomas as living at the Red House Inn on the Dorchester Road where he was the landlord.

In its edition of 10 December 1838, the Western Flying Post reported that in the Yeovil Agricultural Society's Great Cattle Show, Thomas won the prize of £2 for showing the best cart colt.

Thomas was listed as the licensee of the Pen Mill Inn as early as 1840 in the Somerset Gazette Directory. The 1841 census listed him as a yeoman living with his wife, Frances, two daughters; Elizabeth and Frances, and son George. He was still listed as the occupier of the property in the 1846 Tithe Apportionment with William Jones Prowse listed as the owner of the property (he also owned the Red House Inn on the Dorchester Road, where Thomas had been landlord in the 1830s). By the time of the 1851 census he was living next door at Pen Mill Farm and was listed as a 58-year old widower (Fanny had died in 1848). He gave his occupation as farmer of 100 acres employing five labourers. Living with him was his 21-year old son, John, who gave his occupation as a farmer of 70 acres employing three labourers.

In the Yeovil Tithe Apportionment of 1846 the Pen Mill Inn and Garden (Parcel 863) were owned by Captain William J Prowse of Enham House, Southampton, son of George Bragge Prowse of Kingston Manor House and Lord of the Manor of Kingston and was occupied by Thomas Frost. Frost not only ran the inn but also farmed the surrounding area comprising some fifteen separate parcels of land. The Pen Mill In was also the de facto farmhouse of Pen Mill Farm.

By the time of the 1851 census, Thomas was living at Pen Mill Farm and was listed as a 58-year old widower (Fanny had died in 1848). He gave his occupation as farmer of 100 acres employing five labourers. Living with him was his 21-year old son, John, who gave his occupation as a farmer of 70 acres employing three labourers.

Thomas Frost died on 19 June 1851 at Pen Mill. He was aged 58.

As a postscript, Thomas' son George took over the license of the Pen Mill Inn on the demise of his father and is listed as licensee in Slater's Directory of 1852. One snippet of information that caught my eye was that in 1854 the landlord of the Pen Mill Inn, George Frost, was fined the grand sum of ten shillings for keeping his bar open until 4pm on a Sunday afternoon. George was probably the last licensee of the Pen Mill Inn and it would have been during his tenure that the road was raised resulting in the demise of the establishment as a cider house.

 

Gallery

 


Courtesy of Brian Kersting

The Red House and the Dorchester Road - I'm guessing in the 1920s. Thomas Frost was one of the first landlords here in 1830.

 

The report in the 20 December 1830 edition of the Western Flying Post reporting on the activities of a gang of burglars who were active in the area and included the break in at Thomas Frost's Red House Inn.

 


This photograph features in my book "A-Z of Yeovil"

That part of the building at left, the original cider house and later Pen Mill Inn, had been semi-buried like this for a hundred years! The right-hand part was the farmhouse of Pen Mill Farm - certainly during the 1840s, when Thomas Frost was the farmer of the farm and also the licensee of the Pen Mill Inn.

 

This report from the 30 January 1847 edition of the Western Flying Post records how Thomas' Pen Mill Inn premises had been broken into. It appears the gang got away with farm produce rather than any liquor from the inn.

 

1851 will of thomas frost

 

This is the last Will and Testament of me Thomas Frost of Yeovil in the County of Somerset Yeoman I give and bequeath unto my Son John Bonner Frost the sum of one hundred pounds sterling Also I give devise and bequeath all my live and dead stock monies and securities for money goods chattels and effects and all the rest residue and remainder of my personal estate unto my friends Thomas Pearce of Whitelackington in the said County Yeoman and Thomas Samways of Yeovil aforesaid Plumber and Glazier and the survivor of them his executors administrators and assigns upon trust to sell dispose of collect in and convert the same respectively into money as soon as may be convenient after my decease in such manner as they or he shall in their or his discretion think proper and stand possessed of the monies arising therefrom In Trust in the first place [thereout?] to pay and discharge all my just debts and funeral and testamentary expences and the said legacy of one hundred pounds and after payment and discharge thereof respectively upon trust to pay and divide all the residue of the said trust monies and the dividends interest and annual proceeds due thereon unto and equally between my said Son John Bonner Frost and my two daughters Elizabeth Frost and Fanny now the wife of Dominic Stone of Weymouth in the County of Dorset Innkeeper or their respective executors administrators and assigns as tenants in common for their own respective use and benefit and I do hereby declare that there are not any accounts subsisting between me and any of my children except that I have joined with my Son George Frost as his Surety to Mr Matthew Bartlett of Stoford in the said County for the sum of three hundred pounds and interest and I do also declare that the reason why I have not given any legacy to him by this my Will is because he will become entitled on my death to some freehold houses in Yeovil which belonged to his Mother Also I give and devise unto the said Thomas Pearce and Thomas Samways and their Heirs All the real Estate which at the time of my decease may be vested in me as a Trustee upon trust to carry into effect the trusts and purposes affecting the same And I also give and devise unto the said Thomas Pearce and Thomas Samways and their Heirs All the real estate which at the time of my decease may be vested in me as a mortgagee upon trust to stand seized thereof subject to the equity of redemption subsisting therein and upon the receipt or discharge of the monies secured by any mortgage or mortgages to execute such assurances of the legal estate of the mortgaged hereditaments as the nature of the case may require Provided always and I do hereby authorize and empower my said trustees and the survivor of them his executors and administrators to adjust settle and compound all accounts reckonings matters and things whatsoever which shall be [depending?] between me and any other person or persons whomsoever at the time of my decease upon any terms my said trustees or trustee may think proper and to accept any security real or personal for any debt or debts owing to me and to allow such time for the payment thereof as they or he may think reasonable and I do also direct that it shall be lawful for my said trustees their heirs executors and administrators respectively by and out of the monies which shall come to their respective hands by virtue of this my Will to reimburse themselves respectively all such costs charges damages and expences as they shall respectively sustain or be put unto in or about the execution of the trusts hereby in them reposed and that neither of them shall be chargeable for the receipts payments acts or defaults of the other of them nor for more monies than shall actually come to their respective hands by virtue of this Will (notwithstanding their joining in any receipt or receipts or doing any act for the sake of conformity) nor with or for any loss or damage which may happen of or to the same or any part thereof so as such loss happen without their respective gross and wilful default And Lastly I do hereby nominate and appoint the said Thomas Pearce and Thomas Samways joint Executors In Trust of this my Will In Witness whereof I the said Thomas Frost the Testator have at the foot or end of this my last Will and Testament contained in two sheets of paper and at the foot or end of the first sheet thereof set my hand this sixteenth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty one

Thos Frost

Signed and acknowledged by the said Thomas Frost the Testator as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us present at the same time who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as Witnesses

Wm Shorland [word illegible] Yeovil     HM Watts Solicitor Yeovil

 

Proved at London 30th Decr 1851 before The Judge by the oath of Thomas Pearse (in the Will written Pearce) and Thomas Samways the Executors to whom Adm[inistrati]on was granted having been forst sworn by Com[missi]on duly to administer

 

 

Transcribed by Bob Osborn